Is lockdown finally coming to an end? Will we once again be able to hug our loved ones and enjoy their company whether that’s going for a meal, dinner at their house, enjoying holidays together or a day out at a theme park. Can we enjoy a bit of retail therapy, have our nails done and get back to the gym? We believe that the answer is yes! We don’t want to speak too soon but after the Prime Minister’s speech on Monday 22nd February, it looks like we are finally easing our way back to a normal life.
What is a normal life? Can we remember? Will it be easy to get back into our normal routines or will that little bit of fear always be there? For many of you, it might feel quite overwhelming thinking about returning to normal life, and you might suffer from post lockdown anxiety, but for a lot of you, you might not be able to wait, whether it’s to show off that new baby, help your child move out and start their own life or simply to get back into a normal working routine. If you’re anxious just remember to take things at your own pace. There is no rush to get back out and do everything at once. The Government’s timetable doesn’t have to be yours. When you’re ready, pick a quiet time to go for a wander around the shops. You might want to wait until you have had both vaccines and that’s absolutely fine.
For many of us, lockdown has felt like wading through a river of treacle, it has felt never ending and the doom and gloom seemed to stretch far into the future. We have tried to remain positive, but many people started to lose the positivity that they once felt. The days dragged on as we got used to our new ‘normal’ and many of us felt our mental health starting to suffer as we struggled with feelings of ‘cabin fever’.
Maybe you have struggled because you live alone, sometimes not speaking to people for days and missing the hugs and kisses of relatives who you have not been allowed to see. Maybe, having been forced into being with your immediate family day and night for what seems like an eternity, along with working full time and trying to home school the kids, you are desperate for some alone time, or to see different people.
All of us have been affected by this and I cannot wait to hug my daughters and son-in-law, my grand-daughter (who has only seen me with a mask on so far as she was born during the pandemic), my mum, my sister, my mum-in-law and my best friend.
We have missed so much that we absolutely need to do what needs to be done to get us back on track. I feel like I have missed out on the first four months of my grand-daughter’s life and I cannot wait to catch up!
The start of the first lockdown almost felt like a novelty. The weather was great, and we suddenly had a lot more time to go for long walks and enjoy the weather as many of us didn’t have the normal commute to work. Then it started to drag and as the months went on, we wondered if it would ever end. We ended lockdown in July and went back to work with many procedures and restrictions in place in order to ensure people’s safety. We couldn’t believe it when we had another lockdown in November especially as, by this time, the weather was not so good so we were working from home and grabbing a quick walk when we could. That lockdown felt very different. Then, we were allowed Christmas, which was lovely to see our family, but this then plunged us into lockdown number three from the 5th January. People’s mental health started to suffer as, yet again; we had no end date. It didn’t help that along with the dark nights and short days, we seemed to have had one of the coldest winters that we have had for a long time.
Having said all that, I feel that there is now a new wave of positivity as we look at the timetable for businesses opening and the slow return to normal. I know I felt quite giddy after watching the announcement. From 12th April (if everything goes according to plan) shops, hairdressers, beauticians, and gyms can reopen. We cannot wait to get back into the gym and helping our lovely ladies once again. Even if this is delayed a little, that’s all it is, a delay. We need to stay positive because this is coming to an end and we are returning to normal life, one with no restrictions. The vaccine is the major contributor to this and as more people are vaccinated, the restrictions can ease a little more.
The world is reopening and getting back into our normal routines may feel a little strange. Lockdown has enabled us to have more time with the children, less commuting and time-wasting meetings and the ability to do things that we never usually have the time for. Try to keep some of the positive things about lockdown and implement them into your new way of life if you can. I think that this has made all of us look at things differently and weigh up what is important.
We have found alternatives to how we were living and what we saw as normal. We have adapted, many of us finding new ways to work, see friends and family, finding new hobbies and keeping up with healthy eating and exercise, and much of this has been very successful. As we go back to work, time may be a little more restricted but let’s try to carry on with as much as we can.
Have you really missed doing some of the things that you did before? Can you adapt so that you are not feeling stressed, tired and worn out all of the time. One of my favourite sayings is ‘take time to smell the roses’, meaning enjoy life, stopping at interesting places along the way, and this has never been truer. It’s not a race to the grave, it’s a fun, enjoyable, messy, complicated, perfectly imperfect road trip!
Change the things that weren’t working for you before lockdown. This can be very liberating and refreshing as you find new ways to live your life. Remember, every problem has a solution, so focus on this rather than the problem itself.
If you struggled with motivation, haven’t seen many people, haven’t exercised much and healthy eating just didn’t happen, don’t be too hard on yourself and certainly don’t worry. This has been one of the most difficult, challenging times that we have ever been through as a nation. Look at this as a new chapter of your book. It’s never too late to learn and keep good habits and this is the perfect opportunity. Start with small steps – no one ever got to the top of Mount Everest in 3 giant steps! Start with having a healthy breakfast every morning such as scrambled eggs or porridge, then add in a little exercise, maybe a walk or one of our 10-minute workouts. You could gradually add another to make a 20-minute workout (maybe one of our 10 minute stretches) or take a look at our 30-minute circuit which gives you a full body workout in just 30 minutes. As you start to feel stronger, fitter and healthier and have more motivation (and you will), start to cook healthy evening meals from scratch, using fresh ingredients. Add in some time for yourself too whether that’s curling up with a good book, taking a relaxing bubble bath, learning a new hobby or simply watching a good boxset on Netflix. You and your health are most important!
Don’t worry if you feel that you have lost some of your fitness, we are here to help you regain that and carry on reaching your fitness goals. You know how good exercise makes you feel, how much energy it gives you as well as helping with confidence, mood and sleep, so let’s get back to it.
Coming out of lockdown is both exciting and a little scary so it’s important to stay positive and cross the stepping-stones slowly in order to reach the other side where we can once again hug our friends and family, socialise and enjoy holidays.
It’s coming ladies! We can’t wait to see you all very soon!
Caroline & Hannah xx