The Lessons Lockdown Has Taught Us

Most of us will have had some notion as to what 2020 would bring, but no one could have predicted the global-scale impact of COVID-19. This pandemic has taken lives, continues to threaten others, while practically ruining all good things this year had in store for us. Whether it be cancelled job interviews, travel restrictions, or postponed family reunions; we’ve all had to sacrifice something in the name of health and safety.

Has anything good come out of being isolated and stuck at home? For many people, it’s been a huge change in lifestyle – so the strength, courage and discipline we’ve demonstrated is a personal achievement of which we should be proud. But we’ve also gained insights about ourselves during lockdown, whether we realize it or not. Here are some lessons we’ve learned from staying at home during COVID-19.

We take for granted our everyday daily exercise

Not until COVID-19 made us all couch potatoes did we realize how much motion we actually squeeze into our day. From running down the steps to the metro in the morning, to brisk walks during lunch time, we’re always moving without even registering it – until we’re not. Even when we think we don’t get enough exercise, feeling lethargic at home from a lack of motion has highlighted how we typically move about a lot more than we think. Reduced physical activity has been a serious problem for many people stuck at home during the pandemic – especially for athletes and sporty folk. If you’re itching for a run – try scaling the stairs a few times, or find a YouTube fitness instructor to get you working out in your own living room. For those of us lucky enough to have dogs – we can savour those daily walks (all the while keeping a safe distance from fellow dog walkers)!

Our relationships have been put to a test – for the better

Many couples have discovered one of two things during the pandemic lockdowns; either that their relationship is bulletproof – or that that they risk driving each other mad if they spend too long under the same roof. But it’s not just couples who have been put to a test. Parent and child relationships, and the friendship between housemates, have all either blossomed or suffered as a result of suddenly spending way more time together. Don’t worry – it’s not all bad news if your relationship has been put under strain! This is an opportunity for communication. If you and your co-habitant are struggling, show them respect by trying to find out how you can ease the tension. It might be as simple as giving them a little more privacy, or communicating to them that the heavy metal they have blasting at all hours is testing your patience.

Hobbies and interests are less fun in excessive doses

The idea of spare time, at first, struck us all as one of the few upsides to this whole ordeal. Most of us imagined days spent reading or painting. We imagined we’d spend hours gardening or cooking, or finally get around to playing though our favourite video games and slot games via – but the fact is that a lot of people are tired of their favourite activities within the first couple of weeks. It turns out a lot of hobbies we previously thought we could dedicate our lives to are better when they’re just…well, hobbies. Some activities simply lose their charm when done in excess. They no longer feel like an escape, or a treat to be enjoyed every once in a while. We’ve discovered that maybe it wasn’t in fact just a lack of time preventing us from finishing off that project, picking up an instrument or learning a new language. Often, we have our own limits for any given pass time – and no amount of self-isolating will help extend that time we’re prepared to spend on it.

A good home is essential for our well-being

Being stuck inside has allowed us a lot of time to consider our living conditions. Lockdown has looked different for people all over the world – and the way we’ve personally experienced it says a lot about our feelings towards our home. Wealth inequality has been underlined, as some people have experienced lockdown from their mansion with a swimming pool and personal cinema, while others have experienced lockdown from a cramped and under-equipped apartment. Are you happy with the place you call home? Are you satisfied with the way it looks, the space you have, the things you can do there? While we can’t all enjoy the living conditions of the insanely rich (which is a problem all in itself) we can do small things to make home feel more cosy and welcoming – and lockdown has accentuated why it is so important to feel good in the place we call home.

We can be a lot more resourceful than we’d thought

Out of eggs? A number of cooking oils or bananas work just fine as binding agent replacement! No soap left in the dispenser? It’s not as good for your skin, but shampoo will clean your hands in an emergency. It turns out we can make do with a lot less than we thought – reusing items more times than usual, planning meals based on what’s already in the fridge or pantry, and discovering that some products have multiple uses. In the long-run, this could lead to us being more sparing, and saving more money. That’s not to mention all the skills we’ve learned from Googling how to clean windows with dish soap, or make bread from scratch.

Family means more to us than we realize

Meeting the in-laws may typically induce headaches, and babysitting your nieces and nephews might not be top on the list of your favourite activities – but COVID-19 has made one thing clear; family time is to be cherished. We mustn’t take for granted that the ones we love will always be healthy, nor that they will always be able to meet with us face-to-face. Meanwhile, those of us with pets have come to realize precisely how happy animals are for our company. Lockdown may have bored us – but it’s given our pets a world of affection, attention and fun.

Social media has helped bring people together

From sharing silly videos to great recipes, offering emotional support and posting updates – feelings of isolation have been kept at bay thanks to the online community created around quarantine. Those who have been alone for their birthday have been able to have some kind of celebration online, while complete strangers have connected through the mutual struggle of self-isolation. Anyone particularly lonely during lockdown can find support online, and those concerned about their health have been able to access governmental and health organization information in just a few clicks. Without undermining the harm the internet can do in spreading misinformation or invoking fear, it’s clear that a real feeling of togetherness has also been made possible throughout COVID-19 thanks to social media and other forms of online communication.

At a time rife with frustrations and filled with bad news, let’s cling on to the valuable lessons we’ve learned in staying at home and keeping our communities safe. We don’t know whether the world will ever truly return to the ‘normal’ we once knew, but we can use these insights for the better – to remind ourselves that we can be strong, we can adapt, and we should appreciate the little things we once took for granted.