What have People missed most during Lockdowns?
What have People missed most during Lockdowns?
A year ago the UK officially went in to the first lockdown. Many organizations had already sent their staff home having monitored what was happening in particular in Northern Italy and China. One year on, as I talk to clients in Europe and watching the third wave of coronavirus affecting them, I am hoping that any relaxing of restrictions in the UK won’t have such a major detrimental impact.
Over the last 12 months, it is clear that people’s experiences of Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions have varied immensely. Many thrived during the first lockdown, getting fit, baking banana bread and even learning a language or writing a book! However, many individuals have really struggled with the isolation, not seeing loved ones, added to parents having to juggle working from home with home-schooling. Lockdown 3 has been much tougher for most people, mainly due to lockdown fatigue, ‘Zoom fatigue’, having missed out on their regular holidays, and the poorer weather over the Winter. Many people are still suffering from not being able to grieve properly for relatives lost to the coronavirus or undetected diseases, or they are still struggling with Long Covid. Undoubtedly, Covid-19 has had a huge psychological impact on many employees, the medium- and long-term effects of which are still not clear and may only become evident as we try to get back to some sort of normality.
For those who have enjoyed remote working, it is not as straight forward as making a generalization that it’s the introverts who have coped best. Personalities are much more complex and other factors need to be considered, such as age, location and relationship status. Who doesn’t know an extraverted introvert, always the life and soul of the party, but needs a few days of solitude to recharge their batteries after a big night out? Of course, the younger generation in particular have really missed socializing, but pre-vaccination, many of the older generations have been shielding and not seeing anyone apart from delivery drivers and/or their carers. Reportedly, it’s the older generations who have been missing their holidays the most. For a vast majority of the population, they are hoping that the pubs will actually reopen in June and they can sit indoors with family and friends again if the British Summer is a typical one!
Personally, I’m very fortunate that I had already been used to Coaching via video calls as I’ve worked with global clients for many years. However, I’ve still missed the luxury of meeting clients in some wonderful locations and going to networking events or charity dinners after work. Like many, I cannot wait to get back to watching live sport with my friends and being able to travel where and when I like. However, despite the mass vaccination programmes, there will always be the constant threat of new variants and therefore the ‘new future’ will still involve many social distancing measures so we can’t expect that life will return to pre-Covid living or working.
Even when it is deemed safe enough for staff to return to the office, it’s clear that many workers will be exhausted from working excessive hours and not taking their annual leave, others will struggle with fear and anxiety with an expected return to the office. During Resilience Coaching I often suggest that individuals concentrate on what they have got, as opposed to what they may have lost or feel that they are missing out on. With successive lockdowns I’ve been very grateful for living in the country, really noticing the seasons and getting very used to the tamer wildlife following me around the garden! I’ve also enjoyed meeting all my wonderful and interesting neighbours as we go for walks along the lanes in-between our video calls; without lockdown it's strange and sad to think that we probably would never have met as we drove past each other on our respective commutes. Whereas a minority of workers are missing their colleagues and the office banter, most employees are definitely not missing their long commutes and many are saving thousands from working from home.
In an uncertain future, those who have developed their resilience skills, adapted well to the change and uncertainty, managed their stress levels, created a work/life balance and bucket list are likely to be better prepared to adapt to whatever may lie ahead.
'I had completely lost my mojo and didn't realise I had burnout from working non-stop. Thank you for listening so intently and for providing such practical tips and tricks to get me back on track. I'm back to my old self and more hopeful for the future whenever we're allowed to get back to the new normal.' Manager
Stay positive, stay safe!
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