From flexible working to enjoying the great outdoors and cooking from scratch, we look at some of the positives to take from this experience. In fact, if you have been following the good news surrounding the pandemic, you may already know about the drop in air pollution in china or the purification of canals in Venice and the clearer skies on a global level, but there are plenty of things to learn on a much more personal level also.
Waste not want not
For many people, this is the first time in our life where we have really understood the importance of not wasting things. With food delivery slots like gold dust and the constant queuing at supermarkets, we now truly appreciate what we have. Being mindful of food waste for those of us who normally take a full cupboard for granted has been a good wake-up call. Buying what we need, what we know we will eat and becoming creative with food that is about to go off will hopefully lead to a more sustainable way of living.
Remember the time when you couldn’t get loo roll for love nor money? While big supermarkets struggled to keep up with demand, the little local corner shop would often come up trumps. Helping to keep their communities going, local producers, shops and businesses stepped up to the challenge and are providing everything from face masks through to fruit and vegetable deliveries.
Get on your bike
Being told only to use your car for essential journeys had many benefits; clearer air pollution for one. One of the more unexpected advantages was the number of people who got out and about on their bikes. Whether for exercise, fun or a form of transport, cycling has become the nation’s favourite activity while in lockdown. It’s not only great for your physical health, but it also has many well-being positives and hopefully it will be something that we do long after lockdown is lifted, especially if as promised, we get more cycle lanes.
Never too old for tech
Overnight we have all had to adapt to the wonders of technology. Grandparents are on various apps to Facetime their grandkids, parents have got to grips with Google Classrooms and everyone is either hosting or participating in Zoom chats. We may not like change or feel that the latest technology is not for us but the good thing to know is that when we have to, we can be quick to learn and it is probably not as hard as we initially thought. Embracing technology that we haven’t used before is allowing us to think more creatively about how we can work and it may well open up additional revenue opportunities in the future too.
Cooking up a storm
From banana bread to sourdough starters, being in lockdown has inspired people to get into their kitchens and create Instagram-worthy meals. Even if you have very limited experience, there are endless online resources where you can learn to cook everything from exotic dishes from around the globe or just basic food to feed a family. The pandemic has opened up the secrets of the kitchen with many top chefs sharing their culinary skills and demystifying the process of creating restaurant-inspired food.
Protecting the planet
We’ve had an incredible opportunity to press pause on the pollution that we pump into our planet on a daily basis. Once we have healed as a human population, many people will want to focus on looking after our surroundings. It is hoped that the way we have come together as a global community will continue to ensure that we look after planet Earth for generations to come. This may be one of the most important footnotes in history and we can say that we lived through it.
Say goodbye to the commute
What is important to remember is that during this time: “You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.” Hastily creating a space to work, trying to juggle childcare or working around other members of your household is not the way you would ideally choose to start your home working journey but if you have pulled it off, you may be noticing some of the many benefits. Research has found working from home can boost employee productivity, improve work/life balance and foster better mental health as well as reducing pollution from commuters. As the pandemic passes, there may be a cultural shift towards working from home as the norm. Barclays Bank is looking into a more de-centralised approach to staff working and Twitter will allow its employees to ‘forever’ work from home in a company-wide email. After this pandemic, the conversation around flexible working will be much easier to have with anyone who was initially resistant to the idea.
Buy better, buy less
Fast fashion has taken a bit of a backseat during this pandemic and it may continue long after it is over. During self-isolation, there has been a rise in people reaching for the needle and thread to either mend clothes or learning to make new clothes themselves with the help of online tutorials. With some items disappearing from shops, people have become more creative about where to buy from including companies that specialise in eco-friendly products such as toilet paper from Who Gives A Crap, reusable sanitary products like a Mooncup and washing tablets from online retailers who will provide contact-free delivery.
Across the globe, we have all been united in the pandemic, albeit having to cope with vastly different circumstances. As well as creating a global community, people have reached out to their neighbours to help out and provide assistance. Many people believe that the long term key to happiness and a fulfilled life is to help and inspire others so during this time, finding out how to be of service could be the missing ingredient. Some of the most amazing support, kindness and understanding can come from people that you don’t even know. Something that we have all learned in lockdown is to slow down, live in the moment and find our tribe, whether that is online or through virtual meet ups.
Take a moment to enjoy
- The blueness of the sky.
- A cup of tea.
- Cute puppy videos.
- A morning stretch.
- The fresh air you breathe.
- The sunshine on your skin.
- The laughter of children.
- Your first barista coffee out of lockdown.
- Listening to the birds sing.