Life on the other side of lockdown.
Well what a year 2020 was, and it is carrying over in 2021. What have you learnt about yourself?
What changes would you like to make?
The Covid-19 pandemic has presented society with a health and socio-economic challenge the likes of which have not been seen for a generation, comparable only with the World Wars and Spanish flu. The magnitude of the pandemic has meant that our lives have been put on hold. Or were they?
Of course, as with anything, there have been pros and cons. In most aspects of our lives, it has caused massive loss, grief, stress and worry. On the other hand, it gave people precious time with their families, it brought us back to basics, it allowed us to re-evaluate, for many it helped them to see that what they considered to be important and a corner stone of their lives, whether that be work, sport, hobbies, or material things. It has shown us a different way of living and in some cases, it has brought people and communities closer.
Questioning where we go from here, some people are making career changes, following their passions, or have found that flexible ways of working suit them better. Some are stepping away from relationships. Others have found old hobbies again or started new ones. Coming from a catering background, and still being in touch with many colleagues in the industry, they had to find alternative work during the pandemic: from marshalling at testing sites to being delivery drivers. Now that we are nearly at the final stage of the roadmap for lifting restrictions, and catering venues are ready to fully reopen, many have decided that they do not want to return. Time with family and friends and income that is not earned by working unsociable shifts and long hours has become more important.
There have been some terrible consequences from the imposition of ‘lockdowns’ including indirect deaths and the wide-ranging loss of jobs and businesses increasing financial pressures on millions of people. Rising poverty levels, increasing domestic violence, barriers to education and increasing inequalities are just some of the challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The impact on people’s mental health has been striking, which has resulted in an increased volume of people seeking help and finding themselves on ever-growing waiting lists. We are privileged to have our NHS and that it has been able to take care of us in so many ways whilst under immense pressure but is can only do so much.
I am already seeing a sharp rise in clients coming to see me as they just feel lost. What was important before, what was part of their identity was restricted or stopped and they are struggling to make sense of it all. Questioning their lives, their purpose, who they are. There has been a rise in those seeking help with regaining control back on their drinking, eating etc. In short, it has just got out of hand.
With the explosion of video calls, it has presented an opportunity for me to help more people not matter their location. Taking the time to rebrand, engage in additional training and catching up with myself have been some of my takeaways from this period. From the ashes, the phoenix rises. We have been forced to think outside the box, explore new ways of doing things, accepting things that would not have even been a consideration before. A chance to regroup, to be with ourselves, getting to know US again.
Personally, it has made me reassess my life work balance. In the first lockdown, yes, my client list reduced. However, it made me see that my life revolved around work, visiting my mum, and the sofa. My pledge to myself is that I will start to put more emphasis on my personal and social life. We have an opportunity to explore new and/or different paths. Maybe you are happy with just continuing into the ‘new normal. What will you choose?