Let me just start by saying, I did NOT want to get on this ride. When Coronavirus, aka Covid-19, hit NZ shores and the Prime Minister announced we would be going into Lockdown – I was nervous. Kids home from school, husband and I working from home, no shops, cafes or takeaways – “Hell No,” I cried!
But reluctantly, along with my fellow 5 million, we boarded the roller-coaster, strapped ourselves in and braced ourselves for the unexpected, unprecedented times ahead.
And it was scary … children who missed their friends, parents who had to work and teach their children at the same time, teachers trying to navigate online teaching whilst also looking after their own children, essential workers who worried about their exposure, people losing their jobs, people losing their loved ones and not being able to see them or farewell them properly, people trying to fathom the reality of zero income but staff who still needed to be paid – it was exhausting, sickening and we all just wanted the ride to end.
But as with life, this Corona roller-coaster was a different experience for everyone, and as much as I resisted, complained and felt like my world was upside-down after awhile I got used to it. And dare I say, actually enjoyed some of it.
I started to see some of the thrills of this ride and the freedoms it had presented to me. I started to enjoy my slow mornings and revel in my afternoon walks. We spent more time together as a family and enjoyed our time at home. The dog was in absolute heaven!
So, now that we are allowed out again, I am yet again surprised by my feelings. I thought I would be absolutely ecstatic. But I’m not. I didn’t race to the shops or cafes and am even a bit apprehensive about getting back ‘into routine’ of school runs and working in the office again. Apparently this is quite common … a number of my friends who have always described themselves as extroverts are now reconsidering their personalities, asking themselves if they really are that extroverted as they found that they have actually enjoyed this period of isolation.
I read an article recently talking about this readjustment after a period of change. It likened the experience to those who were away in Antarctica and their feelings of unease when returning home. Because the fact is … we adapt and we change and we may just find that the person we are post-Covid is not exactly the same as our pre-Covid selves. And that’s ok, and entirely normal … apparently.
So, if you’re like me, my advice is as follows:
- Take it slow. Ease yourself back into life and don’t be hard on yourself if you take awhile to adjust to the return of ‘busy’.
- Be kind. This ride has been different for everyone. There will be people who are really hurting and that have been bruised and battered by this experience. There will be people whose mental health is in bad shape and then there will be the people who have enjoyed this ‘breathing space’ and may not want to socialise like they did before (at least for awhile).
Good luck with the journey ahead …. let’s hope we don’t have to jump on that coaster again anytime soon!
This is dedicated to the brilliant healthcare workers, such as my friend above, who have worked tirelessly to get NZ through this pandemic – Thank you so much x