Impact of Lockdown and how we can beat the Gloom?

In a very weird year, it seems many of us have massive mood swings whether we were in lockdown, or restricted as we are now. In some ways people seemed to be coping better in lockdown than they are now, though maybe not for people living alone in flats with no gardens. Although my business has reduced by half, we have been fortunate to have our family back together and a new puppy, but she is another story!

A recent survey from the British Red Cross reported that two in five adults felt lonely under lockdown. An astonishing 28% worried that no one would notice if something happened to them. Even more – 33% – said they feared that their feelings of loneliness would get worse in the years ahead. 37% said their neighbours were like strangers and 31% feel they have no one to turn to when they are confronting a problem. Locally in Tunbridge Wells the residents have been fantastic, looking out for each other, but this is evidently not the case nationwide

An article in the Sunday Times recently grabbed my attention. It focused on behavioural scientist Paul Dolan and his 10 tips to beat the gloom. This is my interpretation on what he had to say:

Accept that this is hard – current circumstances are beyond our control. This is not our fault. Acceptance means we are halfway there

Value what you have – be thankful for the fundamentals: health, family, and friends, simple pleasures

Keep talking and listening – talk by whatever means possible including Zoom to people who will make you laugh and at the same time create space for yourself when you need it.

Go outside – walking in nature, keeping fit, being outside even in the winter will do us the power of good

Keep moving – remember Captain Tom, what exercise will do you good each day? A number of people I have spoken to, exercised during lockdown but don’t do it at all now, which I find a bit odd.

Do sweat the small stuff – new hobbies, being creative, listening to music. What will benefit you during these unusual times?

Don’t let go of purpose – have a routine. This reminds me of retirement coaching, always have a sense of purpose each day, it doesn’t have to be massive

Help others – making yourself useful will make you feel better too

Ask for help – don’t struggle on your own, talk to somebody about things whether it be family or someone like me.

Remember we are all different – have you been through stages of being judgemental, I know we did. Generally, it is the fear of the unknown which many of us are suffering with. Our age, circumstances, attitude to risk and anxiety levels all influence how we behave. Hopefully more tolerance, saying hello in the street and community spirit will continue into the winter and beyond.

We were very fortunate to have amazing weather during lockdown. The winter months will not be quite so nice, so we need to find ways in our own ways to get through this. Hopefully one or two of the above tips may be of use to you. As they say “up North” keep your pecker up.

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