Coming out the other side of Lockdown – Tips and advice on the ‘New Way’!

We think you’ll enjoy this new article by Lesley Ann Greenwood who, as a psychologist, is well placed to advise women over 50 on some of the issues we will face now we are emerging from lockdown.

Well, who would of thought this would all last so long! When I first wrote my article back in July last year Life after Lockdown!  I’d never have dreamed the pandemic would last so long, along with most other people who thought it might last a few months or so.

I believe the term “Back to Normal” is no longer really valid. We’ve got to embrace the “New Way” now and that’s actually quite different.

Coming out the other side of Lockdown - Tips and advice on the ‘New way’!

Just a little trip to the shops can actually take quite a while – there’s no more nipping out to pick something up. There are lots to consider before we make a trip. Have I got a mask? Have I got some hand sanitiser with me? Where are my spectacles? (Ooh dear they will steam up!) Where shall I park? Will it be busy? Will there be a queue? I hope people are vaccinated and nobody comes too near?

So many thoughts run through our mind, it can be quite exhausting just getting through the door. My little Jack Russell has got so used to coming out with me on walks everywhere that it’s also difficult to get out without her!

 There is then the issue of meeting people you haven’t seen for a very long time. I met 6 friends last week socially distanced outside for lunch and it was wonderful. However I felt a little sensation of self doubt anxiety and nervousness creeping in, how will everyone be? How will I feel? What will it be like and we can’t hug or get too close. I needn’t have worried. We had a really wonderful catch up and lunch. It was just delightful to be with everyone after such a long time.

However people have all had very different experiences during lockdown. Some have had really difficult and sad times so be prepared and be aware that others may not have had similar experiences to you. And most of all, if you can be anything, be kind to others. I also realised that most people felt exactly the same as me about meeting up -slightly anxious and nervous and some felt very uneasy about actually stepping out, especially those that had been self isolating since the beginning of the pandemic.

Coming out the other side of Lockdown - Tips and advice on the ‘New way’!

 However it’s important that we do reconnect physically with others, those feel-good hormones I’ve talked about before, such as oxytocin are released when we have contact with others. Meeting up in gardens or parks with people for a walk or going to a garden centre is a good option.

Shopping is quite a different experience. Sadly the cities have seemed to be worse affected, especially those outside London with many small branches of shops closing.

However the smaller towns and local shops, especially in Cheshire where I live, seem to have thrived and new ones catering for local needs have opened which is so positive.

So the future is slightly different for us all, and we’re all coming out of this in different and varying ways. But to change and move on is good. We have to adapt and keep going forward. It’s imperative to keep up with new ways and to keep relevant and young in our minds.

Having close connections online is also vital for the future I believe, along with physical connections. It’s the “New Way”.

So be brave. Get out there when you’re ready. Meet up with a friend and most of all ”STAY CONNECTED and STAY SAFE.” Unfortunately we are going to have to wait a little longer before we travel afar. Sadly the virus hasn’t gone and is still virulent in other parts of the world, so keep aware of health, safety and travel advice.

Very best wishes to you all, Lesley Greenwood BSc(hons) Psych, MSc Clinical Science