As we find ourselves in lockdown v3, it is an opportunity for reflection. A year ago, no one could have predicted the global pandemic and its wide-ranging consequences. Our freedoms have been curtailed, from the very basic freedom to visit friends and family to international travel. It’s a cliché I know, but we tend to value something more when it is taken away from us.
Never again will I ever take for granted the pleasure to be gained from a simple hug. The consequences of social distancing have created a longing for this ordinary but powerful display of affection.
I have been reminded how in the blink of eye, seemingly fit and healthy people can be transformed into vulnerable and high risk. Appreciate good health when you have it and better still, nurture it as best you can. When we are safe, warm and well-fed, that is plenty to be thankful for.
How I greatly miss the ability to spontaneously meet up indoors or outdoors, to share a meal or just a quick coffee. Lockdown is a reminder of how much we, as a species, have a need to socialise. It is a basic need that needs to be met. It is vital for our holistic wellbeing.
I have been genuinely impressed by our capacity to adapt. Necessity has forced us to embrace working from home, and in my case competing for the Wi-Fi to participate in remote hearings.
Admittedly it has been boring, and I have felt frustrated by the restrictions. I have consumed my fair share of Netflix, baked a wide range of treats and eaten more than I should have eaten. Finding the motivation to exercise has been especially challenging, but the sense of satisfaction having done so is correspondingly greater.
I have done my best to keep in touch with friends and family regularly even though there is very little to report. There is much to be gained from a simple chat; it is a reminder that those we care about are safe and well, and there is comfort in the knowledge that we are all going through the same experience. Lockdown has taught me the value of my connections.
This lockdown at least has some light at the end of the tunnel with the long-awaited vaccine. We will all patiently wait in the queue to receive it. It comes with a considerable dose of hope of better times ahead.
I believe there is no downside to expressing gratitude. It increases mindfulness, encourages goodwill and generosity. Quite simply, it contributes to a whole range of positive emotions. “Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life” – Wise words from Rumi.Fareha Choudhury