As we welcomed in 2020 who could have imagined the way this year would progress? A global pandemic, living in quarantine, queuing to get into supermarkets, pubs, restaurants and cinemas shut.
We’ve all been affected by this strange year in different ways; some people may feel there’s been little difference in their daily lives, particularly if they were retired and not going out to work. Yet others have seen jobs, savings and even businesses disappear during this lockdown. Whatever the changes – big, or small – there have been some for all of us.
No matter what the economical or financial effects may be to you as an individual, it’s how you choose to respond to this unique set of circumstances which will impact on your personal wellbeing and how your life will be once restrictions are lifted.
You’ll all have heard the phrases ‘positive mindset’ and ‘the power of positive thinking’ and many of you will probably roll your eyes at what you may perceive as ‘new age hippy thinking’. Well we’re here to tell you to think again before dismissing the concept as there is increasing evidence that having a positive outlook actually does improve mental and even physical health.
Don’t believe us? Check out this link for details of three studies that prove the power of positive thinking.
One of the things that has been bandied around is using the lockdown to take a course of study, learn a new skill etc – in other words ‘better yourself’. If that’s what floats your boat and you want to take up some new learning – great, go for it, but don’t feel guilty or negative if you DON’T want to do that!
If you do want to, and have the ability and equipment to get online, there are literally thousands of courses available and we’ve talked about this in an earlier article ‘Never too late to learn’. There are also lots of exercise type classes popping up as personal trainers look for new ways to provide their services.
It is entirely up to you what you want to do with any spare time you now have – and we all have more time at the moment; even if you were already at home full time, the restrictions on meeting relatives and friends, or even popping to the corner shop mean you WILL now have free time.
It could be a long time, if indeed ever, before things get back to how they were – don’t waste a moment, don’t wish life away, embrace what you can do instead of missing what you can’t.
Instead of bemoaning the fact that you can’t hug your grandkids, change the thought to ‘they’re keeping me safe by staying away’.
Missing the pub? If you’re technology minded arrange a virtual get together with your drinking buddies. If that’s not possible, see if you can get neighbours out at the front of each house where you can all have a drink and a natter whilst still keeping a safe distance.
If loneliness sets in, pick up the phone and call https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/ a helpline especially set up for our older generations to seek support, or just to hear a friendly voice on the end of the phone if you need to hear a voice at 3am in the morning.
SCCCC’s Good Neighbours Scheme volunteers are phoning the people they would usually visit – staying friends without the danger of passing on the virus. We have also set up a “Pen pal” scheme, a return to good old fashioned letters to help ease any feeling of isolation.
Embrace this time as an opportunity to do things differently, rather than a period to simply endure and get through. Keep your thoughts focused on all the good that is currently going on – the fabulous support for our NHS, Colonel Tom’s (and others) fundraising exploits, the way local communities are coming together.
We are all in this together…it isn’t something you are going through alone – hold onto that thought.