As the UK braces itself for weeks of restrictions tightening, let's see what lessons we've learned first time round.
When it comes to a second lockdown, with the government introducing local Covid alert levels, we’re already winning in terms of our coping mechanisms.
Why? Well, unless you’ve been living on a desert island for the past eight months, we’ve already experienced many months of adapting to the “new normal” so much so that it’s taught us a few basic, if not, funny, lessons.
Some of you might have regrets, or targets left unachieved but there’s one thing we all have in common – and that’s experience.
Here’s just some of the lessons we’ve learned from lockdown…
Stockpiling strains your cupboards (and your waistline!) so don’t do it.
At the beginning of the first lockdown, let’s admit it, we all shopped like we were stocking up for Christmas. And even then, on a normal festive period with all the family round we’ve never needed even a 1/4 of the toilet rolls shoppers were seen grabbing in March.
And if it wasn’t toilet roll, it was perishables that were flying off the shelves. Those of us who weren’t Scouts or Brownies, made the pitfall of going for the chocolate biscuits, and soon came unstuck when we’d had tea and bicci’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
But even those people who stocked up on rice, pasta and couscous, realised that even the most talented cook, without fresh vegetables to cook with – the grubs on I’m A Celebrity looked more appealing. With our cupboards bursting at the seams, like our wardrobes, finding a food combination became a logistical nightmare. Does Ready, Steady, Cook spring to mind?
READ MORE: Winter Recipes
Then there’s the portion sizes. Anything goes Christmas Day but when it became every day for the foreseeable weeks and months, the amount of food we we’re eating was just uncontrollable. Hence the tip – if it’s not in your cupboard or fridge then you can’t eat it.
Aside from depriving vulnerable people from the food they need, we’ve learnt a stockpiling big shop, isn’t needed ever. So if you feel the temptation this time round, apply to be a contestant on the Supermarket Sweep reboot.
We’ve learned to cook – anything from DIY pizza to banana bread
What it boils down to is having a bit of extra time, the internet at your finger tips and before you know it you’re using flour and eggs to your heart’s content. But instead of making baked goods for your household – for many it was just themselves or a partner – this time why not try pass on that skill to someone else?
Some people took up pasta making, calling in the experts from Italy. Even Celebrity Chef James Martin recently had a go at launching his own online ticketed cook-along event. But the majority of us quickly realised our complicated cooking schedule is impossible to keep up.
So before we start drowning in ingredients or reaching for Deliveroo, why not up-skill someone you love by giving them an over the phone tutorial on that Instagram-able dish of yours they liked. It’s a memory that will last longer than the taste of delivering an extra piece of cake. And with many households not allowed to mix, it’s something that will beat the millionth Zoom quiz hands down.
Phone calls over zoom calls
Having learnt the importance of talking, we’ve discovered that it’s best on the phone. Long gone are the days we used to get Zoom call ready and who’s got time to sit and text to only have something taken completely the wrong way? Not only does it take up valuable time, it stops you from multi-tasking.
After all, you can’t take a wee, mid-three hour call with your BFF if you’re on zoom. Even if it’s a work laptop, you don’t trust yourself with taking it to the bathroom.
And if it’s your parent’s calling, you don’t want the blunt ‘Ohhh you’ve put on weight’ comment to have you reaching for the internet connection.
Invited to another Zoom quiz? It’s only taken hundreds of invites later for us to realise saying ‘no’ won’t spell the end of the world – even if it was for prize money – as right now there’s not many places you can go to spend it.
Voice notes and phone calls are the way forward and they’re better for your liver too – just think of the amounts of wine you used to knock back just because you were on camera…
Walking, riding a bike – and P.E with Joe Wicks is the easiest enjoyable form of exercise
We don’t need to splurge out on expensive at home gym equipment to help us with our weight worries. Having one hour a day daily exercise taught us that putting anything on other than our trainers was a complete waste of time. As we shunned public transport for fresh air, our lungs and cardio, felt the difference.
If you’re brave enough to swap two wheels for eight, roller skating is fun. Just don’t get too over confident and end up on the floor like I did, and while luckily I only ended up with a bruised bum, at looked on the bright side of having made a little girl laugh.
There’s plenty of fitness opportunities to explore online – from yoga to dance tutorials – but remember not to push it too much as we don’t want to add pressure to the NHS with an avoidable hospital admission.
Discovering a new hobby helps with stress control – even if we’re not that good
From crafting and colouring to gardening and growing your own – lots of us gave our all when it came to discovering a new hobby. Proven to reduce stress levels, finding something to focus on is a great way to help beat the blues. And while the colder, darker nights are stopping us from being outdoors as much, don’t let it stop you from carrying on indoors.
Having picked up a pretty plant to accidentally kill it within days, only to be told it was an outdoor plant that died because I kept it indoors. Like Stacey Solomon I’ve learnt to love a Fejka.
Even with all the time in the world to water something, if you’re not programmed to remember to water and feed something unless it squarks at you then best to stay away from those kind of lifeforms – for everyone’s sake.
Good health, family and friends are what really matters
When it boils down to it, lockdown is essential if it means saving lives. No matter how many computer gadgets you own, if you’ve not got someone to share it with then it’s a pretty lonely time.
A designer handbag might make you look good but with no where to go and no one to see, what use is it?
Many of us will have spend the last eight months revaluing the important things in life, remember those are the things that got you through this first time and no doubt will be there for you this time.
So as we look ahead to Christmas, and the uncertainty there may be, let’s not forget that you’re doing good and we’ve got this!