Hugs, hairdressers and friends’ houses - the everyday things Brits are most looking forward to post-Covid revealed

What post-Covid activities are you most looking forward to?

Repeated vintage scissors on pink background
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Post-Covid activities are surely on everyone’s minds right now as the recent government announcement detailed the step-by-step plan that will see Covid-19 restrictions ease. By June 21 all Covid-19 safety measures are set to be lifted, no doubt delighting those who were hoping that summer would signal a return to a more recognisable state of normality for the country. 

Some people have been testing their best sewing machine skills or taking up gardening as they found new hobbies to keep busy during recent months. But the ongoing effects of the pandemic have proved challenging, with many families separated from their loved ones. 

So it might not come as much of a surprise that it’s the everyday things that seem to have been missed most. They may have often been taken for granted before, but a new study has now revealed that heart-warming simple pleasures are what Brits are most looking forward to when things go back to normal. 

What post-Covid activities are Brits most looking forward to?

After experiencing pandemic restrictions for so long, it’s likely that many of us have a pretty extensive list of post-Covid activities we’d like to do. Now a recent study commissioned by Gala Bingo (opens in new tab) has found that the post-Covid activity Brits are longing for the most is hugging friends and family, at 59%. 

Grandmother and adult granddaughter hugging

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With so many loved ones unable to see each other during the pandemic, it’s perhaps unsurprising that this simple but hugely significant activity came out on top. This is closely followed by another simple pleasure – the ability to make plans – which 45% of Brits are looking forward to, while visiting friends’ houses came in third at 43%. 

Why are people looking forward to these post-Covid activities the most?

The ongoing effects of the pandemic have often seen people feeling increasingly isolated as we are not able to spend as much time with others as we once did. Dr Jo Gee, specialist psychotherapist and co-founder of The Luna Hive, explained why it is the small connections that people miss the most.

“Maslow’s Hierarchy of human needs outlines how important social interaction is to our psychological wellbeing and self-esteem,” she revealed. “This makes sense when we consider that two feel-good brain chemicals, dopamine and oxytocin, are released when we connect with others." 

Portrait of mother and daughter embracing

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“In fact, the activities we previously took for granted pre-pandemic are vital in regulating our mood and stimulating our natural anti-depressants with dopamine and oxytocin stimulated through activities where we connect with others, and serotonin, our ‘good mood’ chemical, stimulated during activities we enjoy”, she said. 

The top 10 things that Brits are most looking forward to post-Covid

  1. Hugging friends and family 
  2. Being able to plan things again 
  3. Visiting friends’ houses 
  4. Going for a meal with friends 
  5. Going for a coffee with a friend 
  6. Spontaneous trips 
  7. Going for spontaneous drinks 
  8. Sitting next to people you don’t live with 
  9. Going to concerts 
  10. Regular haircuts 

It seems that when it comes to post-Covid activities, the idea of spontaneity is also a hugely appealing factor for many people, with spontaneous trips and drinks also featuring in the top 10. Those people who can’t help wondering when hairdressers will open again in 2021 are also clearly represented here. 

Regular haircuts round off the top 10 things Brits are looking forward to the most. Many people, including even Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have found themselves forced to pick up some hasty hair-cutting skills during lockdown, but it seems we’re more than ready to hand the reins back to the professionals when the time comes. 

Woman having her hair cut at a salon.

(Image credit: Peathegee Inc via Getty)

Karina Adrian, head of brand marketing at, gave her thoughts on the research stating, “It’s really heartening to see that it’s the small, intimate moments like a hug from a loved one or coffee with a friend that people are more looking forward to the most, rather than the bigger things. It just goes to show that it really is the little things in life that make the big difference. 

“It goes without saying that the last year has been a challenge for so many people. But hopefully it won’t be too long before we can get back to all the little things (and the big ones!) that we’ve missed.” 

We hope so too!

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.