While many of us are happy to return to the lives and loved ones we so missed during lockdown, some of us might be reflecting on the things we’re not quite ready to let go of.
Some of us might already be feeling the healthy habits and simple pleasures we fostered during lockdown, such as baking bread, slowing down, connecting more with loved ones, slipping away. We might see the things we had no choice but to abandon – such as hectic schedules and overspending, slowly creep back in.
At Mental Health Ireland, we are asking people to reflect before we forge ahead with life again. We want people to reflect on any positive outcomes of lockdown, the things that we might not want to leave behind. We also wanted to know who or what helped you through the tougher times of the last few months.
Giving ourselves some time to reflect on these changes from the past few months can help us maintain these healthy habits as society continues to reopen, and to appreciate the things and people that helped make the hard times a little easier.
The feedback from our #Reflectionsonlockdown survey has sparked some touching stories of this challenging time, how we coped with the changes and what helped us overcome them.
Overall, people said that friends and family were the ones that helped them through. While connecting with people during lockdown was particularly difficult, we become innovative in our communication methods. Friends offered us support and loved ones gave a shoulder to cry on and some great laughs through Zoom quizzes and Whatsapp calls.
Exercise, nature and being active stood out in the feedback of what helped us through the last few months.
Walking, running, and online workouts with friends have all helped us stay fit and healthy from our home. We saw an upsurge in demand for home workout videos and equipment as we bid to keep ourselves active as gyms around the country closed their doors.
Another notable trend from our survey was a newfound appreciation for the simple pleasures in life. People enjoyed being able to slow down a little, spend more time with their children, grandchildren, housemates, and family, even it was virtually.
Some respondents said that staying present, meditating and limiting news consumption helped ease stress and concerns.
Follow our #Reflectionsonlockdown campaign on social media to follow and join the conversation!
For some of us, reflecting on the past might be too much right now. Some of us may have suffered loss in the last few months. We may have lost jobs, our social connections or very sadly, loved ones. For others, the pandemic brought very little or no positives and some were merely functioning in survival mode
In any case, we would encourage you to reach out to someone close to you if you are feeling lonely, lost, low or simply need to talk to someone who can advise and support.
You can also book an appointment with your local GP to discuss your concerns. Mental Health Ireland has a dedicated list of resources for minding your mental health and wellbeing during this time, which include a number of key resources for people who use mental health services and their families/carers. More information at www.mentalhealthireland.ie
The Samaritans phoneline is available 24 hours a day for confidential, non- judgemental support on 116 123. To find mental health supports and services near you, free phone the national information line on 1800 111 888 or visit yourmentalhealth.ie