GOOD THINGS ABOUT SELF-ISOLATION AND KEEPING THEM GOING
by ASJAD NAZIR
LOCKDOWN has been a terrible time for people around the world and now that it is slowly coming to an end there is a sense of relief. Although everyone is looking forward to resuming normal life again, there are many things about self-isolation most people will miss, including some aspects they will try carry on after being confined at home finally ends.
Eastern Eye asked a cross-section of people what they will miss most about lockdown and figured out what can be done to carry these things on when everything opens up again.
Working from home: What is not to like about being able to walk out of your bed and straight into work? Those who have been fortunate enough to work from home have been able to save significant time in the day from commuting and getting ready. Other benefits of getting work done from home include healthier eating, spending more time with family, lowering stress and being able to go at your own pace. Having a clean bathroom and fully stocked kitchen accessible at all times also helps.
After lockdown – More people than ever will be working from home and many jobs are being made available in that regard.
Family time: The fast moving world meant we had less time to spend with family members, but that all changed during lockdown. While many were locked in with family members, others were using video apps to connect with close family members. With homeschooling and daily walks, parents were able to bond with children, along with teaching them added skills. Although it may have seemed stressful at times, those added moments with family members will remain special.
After lockdown – Pause from things like social media and time manage to spend more time with those who matter.
Nature: The lack of planes, trains, automobiles and big factories during lockdown has made the air cleaner, skies clearer and rivers less polluted. Noise pollution also went down significantly and even the ozone layer has benefitted. This has not only made outdoors more pleasant and helped wildlife, but also given different health benefits to everyone, including lowering stress levels. Those daily walks have been made more pleasurable.
After lockdown – Go green in different aspects of life and become more environmentally aware.
Appreciation: There may have been a lot of things to be angry about during lockdown, but appreciation shown by everyday people increased significantly and this made the world that much nicer. People have been appreciative about their own blessings, but also more thankful about things we took for granted, from family workers to key health workers who have been risking their lives to look after us. This has created a spirit of togetherness and triggered a nice positive energy that wasn’t there before.
After lockdown – It is easy to carry on being appreciative, including saying thank you to workers who help us everyday like shopkeepers, delivery drivers, health workers and close relatives.
Learning: The added time indoors enabled most to learn new skills with cooking and baking topping the list. Others took online classes like yoga, mindfulness, languages, dance and various forms of exercise. This inspired many to take up new hobbies and make friends.
After lockdown – Make time for new hobbies and courses, including building on knowledge gained in self-isolation.
Small pleasures: There were so many small pleasures that sprang up during lockdown that we will all miss. This includes binge-watching box sets, catching up on films, not being under pressure to socialise, having that knowledge there won’t be any surprise visitors and not missing any home deliveries. Also, enjoying more of our homes instead of just having them as a place of shelter was another win.
After lockdown – Schedule in breaks from your busy life to carry on enjoying indulges of life. It will make you happier and lower stress.
Comfort zone: Being able to ditch ties, smart clothes, uncomfortable shoes like high heels, suits, make-up, contact lenses and complicated beauty regimes has perhaps been the biggest indulgence during lockdown. This is near the top of what most people will miss after self-isolation is over. Getting all dressed up again may become a challenge and we will all fondly remember rolling out of bed, putting on a tracksuit and getting on with the day without any pressure.
After lockdown – When not working, make time to relax and don’t feel pressure to look a certain way.
Time: The biggest thing we will all miss when lockdown is lifted is the added time we had to do other things in life away from work. This includes learning, spending time with family, relaxing, exercising, getting healthier and just having more moments to think. When things like commuting, socialising, shopping and travelling kick back in, all that extra time will be gone and we will miss it.
After lockdown – Time management will enable us to get some of that lost time back. So perhaps, spend less time on social media, don’t do unnecessary trips and be with people who don’t uplift you.
Human connection: Although it sounds strange, people in lockdown were connecting with others more. Being isolated inspired people to make more video calls, have longer phone chats and reconnect with long lost friends. Others formed new friendships and appreciated the face-to-face contact more when it was allowed.
After lockdown – Take time to appreciate your loved ones more, don’t take them for granted and give extra hugs when possible.