If someone had said back in March 2020 that we’d still be staring at our computer screens for social interactions and viewing a daily walk as a genuine form of entertainment, it wouldn’t be believable. It all feels like a blurry sci-fi movie that you would switch off because it was ‘too unrealistic’ and didn’t feel like it could ever really happen.
With lockdown coming to an end (and hopefully for good!), it feels like the perfect time to reflect on what we’ve learnt. So whilst you may not be fluent in French, or a yoga guru like you planned, there’s been a lot to take from the past year. From the silly, to the sentimental, here are some of our top things to carry on with.
The true allure of loungewear
A year ago, we would never have dreamt that out staple work outfits would be tracksuit bottoms and a pair of fluffy socks. Nor would we have guessed that the only new clothes we’d be buying would have the words ‘baggy’ or ‘comfy’ paired with them. 2020 was not fashion’s friend, and, in complete honesty, it now feels like a pair of skinny jeans are my biggest foe.
The bar of what now counts as ‘dressed up’ means you’ve made minimal effort with maximum exposure, and we’ve learnt the true value of good lighting and excellent angles – and mainly, not spending so much time on what we look like.
Goodbye to FOMO
There has been a strange freedom in knowing everyone else’s life is as dull as your own. With nobody being able to do anything the past year, there is a huge sense of release in knowing that we aren’t being left out or wasting our youth!
Whereas weekends used to be filled with other people’s boozy brunches and messy Friday nights, we can now take comfort in our own nothingness. There is no pressure and no obligation, and we generally care less about social engagements and missed interactions.
We should take this liberation and carry it forward in a world where we’re actually glad we’re here and not somewhere else.
Hello to sleep
The work from home life has meant that most of us can now lie in bed for an extra hour or two each morning. And although there’s been some questions raised about the quality of the sleep we’re getting, this year has definitely taught us the value of sleep.
By being essentially locked in our homes, we have had to take comfort in the small things, and this has meant enjoying things that we would have found previously lame.
There is less of a rush to move about and the pace of life has inevitably slowed down. This is something we should continue as we shift back into ‘normal’ life, and embrace a more relaxed attitude.
The real people
It’s strange to think about how many people you didn’t actually choose to see but somehow ended up seeing. Lockdown has shown that once you remove the accessibility of these people, they simply disappear from your life.
The same can be said for couples. Some good friends of mine have been in lockdown with their significant others and have absolutely loved it. Others, however, have crumpled from the pressure. There’s no better test for love than being forced to work, socialise and exist with someone with no way of escaping!
For singles, not only has the essence of ‘casualness’ been completely ousted, but we’ve also realised how unnecessary, and toxic, a lot of our relationships really were. So, whilst I’m sure most of us will happily leap back into the ‘game’, this half-time break from crappy dates and crappier people has been more than welcome.
Your own resilience to complete uncertainty
Last week, I was chatting with my friend in complete awe at people’s ability to cope with the unknown. 2020 was absolutely brutal on mental health and we’ve all just gotten on with it (with very little help from anyone or anything). In truth, I thought modern-day man was a lot weaker than this, and I’m stunned and proud at how it is quite the opposite: we’re stronger than we look.
The common theme here is finding value in ourselves and others, and acknowledging what really matters.
So although it may be scary going back into the real world, I think we’re probably a lot more prepared for it than we think.