Lessons from Lockdown – Habits and Structure

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Well the end of the week and the restrictions around self distancing and isolating is  becoming the new normal. We have developed the habit of learning to walk around people and have a cheery wave at a safe distance.  Thursday evenings are now set aside for the clapping and pot bashing for supporting the key workers and we are all grateful for our once a day exercise opportunity on the lookout for rainbows or Teddy Bears.

This morning whilst on an early dog walk through the woodland walk to the back fields which are usually a gathering point for all the local canines and their walkers, it was eerily quiet with only a couple of people in the distance.  However poking through the undergrowth were the bluebells, with the promise of a carpet of colour to come in the coming weeks.  In all this chaos, the structure of spring continues.

It got us thinking how we all rely on habits and structure and when this is thrown into disarray, as with any change, it can be unsettling.  Having signs of a known rhythm is comforting and establishes a sense of perspective.

In the lockdown, what we do have is the opportunity for many to work remotely, so whilst this is a new phenomenon for some, it does give structure to the day and the ability to keep in touch with colleagues, albeit via Zoom (other platforms are available!), WhatsApp etc.  It’s a new way of working but may well become a new habit for many in the coming weeks and perhaps for longer.

Some have been furloughed so there is a danger that the structure of the day and the distraction of work isn’t available.  It may be that you are having to become an educationalist and develop some new skills pretty quickly. You need to be responsible for providing a structure for the children and this in itself can bring additional new pressures.

Many have said that having an order to the day is important to maintain some normality – ie not slopping around in the PJs and having daytime TV on.  Taking up the opportunity to learn a new skill  is occupying some – whether it be gardening, painting, photography. Volunteering for the local community has been evident in so many areas and this gives structure and purpose to the long hours that can stretch ahead without any plan.

There must be a whole myriad of houses that are now redecorated, cleaned and been Marie Kondo’d! Ours definitely has an aroma of bleach hanging in the air.

We’d be interested to know what new structures and habits everyone is developing in these challenging times and do you think you’ll continue with them when we return to something that resembles our normal day to day lives?

Enjoy the weekend sunshine and stay safe and well

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