Returning to ‘normal.’


The coronavirus has impacted so many peoples lives, in so many different ways. Whether it’s losing loved ones to the disease, losing jobs or businesses, being furloughed, having to shield at home or simply struggling with lock down life… we’ve all had our lives turned upside down.

No matter how you’re feeling, whether it’s stressed, scared, relaxed or subdued, there is no right or wrong answer to how you should be feeling. It’s an uncertain time and you have the right to feel how you are feeling about things at this moment in time.

Whilst scrolling through Instagram the other day, this post stuck out to me. Because it said exactly how I feel about the entire pandemic.

I regard myself as one of the lucky ones. Me and my husband work from home, and apart from our cat becoming incredibly needy and walking all over the keyboard on a daily basis, our lives haven’t been turned upside down like so many others have.

Of course we’ve had celebrations and events cancelled due to COVID-19. Our wedding that was meant to be in mid May was cancelled, and so we tied the knot in a simple registry office wedding in March a day before lock down. We’ve had holidays postponed and we’ve not been able to see our family or friends. But all we have to do as our role during this time, is to stay at home. So that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Over the last seven weeks, I’ve gone through a range of different emotions. The first week consisted of being so busy adapting to working from home that it rushed past in a blink of an eye. Week two I settled into it, and began appreciating the extra time to enjoy breakfast and meet with my husband in the kitchen for lunch.

Week three brought with it a bit of lethargy. And a bit of guilt that I didn’t seem to be being productive enough. I kept seeing posts about how we should come out of this pandemic having learned something new, honed skills, become healthier and be brand new people. I felt under pressure to use this time wisely, with a sudden worry that it’d suddenly end and I’d come out of it having not accomplished anything.

Week four, I stopped and took stock of everything. I reevaluated the situation. I was working full time from home and the fact I was freelancing still in my spare time, making time to check in on friends and experiencing the stress of being housebound just like so many others, I realised I needed to cut myself some slack.

Week five I made sure I made time for self care days and discussed my mental health with my friends and family. Week six I felt a little bit more in control of my new routine and was able to keep my mind from racing with thoughts of ‘life outside these four walls’ at night.

Week seven has had me thinking about a return to ‘normal.’ And actually, just like this Instagram post says, are we really wanting to jump back into what we had before? Some of us that are in stagnant routines that aren’t allowing us to slow down are starting to evaluate our real needs. The increased quality time that we’re currently having (albeit virtually) with family friends is making us realise the things that are actually important.

Perhaps the one positive we can take from these strange and unprecedented times, is that it gives us time to reflect on our lives and assess whether we’re happy to go back to how it once was. Or whether there are changes or tweaks that we need to make to improve our mental health, physical health and happiness.

I for one am certainly using this time to do just that. What about you? We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments.



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