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Living in a post-lockdown World

Photo of a woman sitting alone at a restaurant table wearing a mask
Image Credit: Hannah Theodore

When COVID-19 was at its peak, we were all forced to pause our lives to protect our health from this virus. Two years of uncertainty, lockdowns, travel restrictions, and an unrecognizable world for most. Although COVID is still upon us, we have adapted our lives to cope with the virus. Now that lockdowns have been behind us for some time, we can dive into the aftermath from that period of our lives. This article highlights some aspects of my experience during lockdown and its later effects as well as the insight of Registered Psychotherapist and Social Worker, Shirley Porter on this topic.

“You owe it to yourself to take advantage of all the good things that are out there.”

From the start of my very first lockdown, I started to lose my sanity with being idle and not being able to leave the house at my own freedom. Specific days that I was allowed to be on the roads of Barbados, designated times to be at the beach in the morning, and heavy fines if restrictions weren’t adhered to. My life no longer felt like my own. I tried to make the most out of my time, but I couldn’t help but feel lost in a world that I thought I knew. These feelings led me to a dark place. Days filled with Netflix and other entertainment platforms, repetition of holiday mode (minus the fun activities); it felt like a never?ending spiral of not knowing when life would return to what I knew to be normal.

Where does that leave me now? Time has gone on and life has resumed to what we were all familiar with pre-COVID. After classes were no longer conducted online and work was back to in-person, I found myself constantly finding activities in my life to fill any possible time that I had during the day. No matter how much I was responsible for, it never felt as though I was doing enough.

Porter explained that lockdown had an effect on everyone and that the aftereffects really depend on what your experience was during that time.

She highlighted that some people felt as though, “you owe it to yourself to take advantage of all the good things that are out there.”

Whilst this was related to my experience, Porter also recognized that there were some who had the complete opposite of this feeling during the lockdowns. Introverted individuals who prefer to have less interaction on a daily basis were thriving during this time.

“Listen to yourself and be respectful of what you need in this moment; you don’t owe yourself an explanation,” Porter said. “If you need to rest now, that’s OK, if you need to go out and do things, that’s OK, but to trust yourself to appreciate that you have the freedom to do any of that.”

For those who may have had a similar lockdown experience to me, I am hopeful that this article can help you realize that you are not alone in this and that there are resources to help you cope through the guilt.