Lockdown Side Effects, Not Only Daily Routines But The Ever So Important Family Gatherings. What We Can Do about It!
As the Holiday season is upon us, and 8 months have passed since the COVID lockdowns were first implemented with many states in different stages of lockdown and/or in various stages of re-opening. There have been very predictable side effects of this that are negatively affecting the health and wellbeing of many people across the planet.
With our usual routines canceled, in person social interactions mostly eliminated, and now family gatherings in question, the stability of the lifestyle we have created for ourselves has been put into question. This ‘New Normal”, as it has been coined, highlights the many things we have lost. It is also possible that we have realized how much we have taken our daily routines for granted. As the song goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone. We have all suffered unexpected losses from the overnight canceling of many things that we have come accustomed to having in our lives.
Despite our efforts to compensate for these losses an image on a computer screen does not replace the social interaction and warmth of sharing a great meal with friends and family. An exercise class in your living room does not bring the same experience we have enjoying a nice walk, run or bike ride in a spacious outdoor setting. And conferencing into a meeting is not an adequate substitute for the camaraderie and creativeness generated in an in-person work session.
Not as obvious is the loss of many of the things that we have built into our “normal routines” that have helped us offset the negative effects of stress and helped foster a healthy work-life balance. Without these we are seeing an increase in consequences that can have long term effects on our quality of life if we do not reverse course quickly In just one study conducted via a WebMD poll, unintentional weight gain is the most common side effect of the lockdown, 21 percent of respondents reporting an increased dependence on alcohol and another 60% of respondents report having an increase of stress levels.
It is not new to report that these unhealthy trends can lead to a number of chronic health conditions that can dramatically affect our quality of life in the years ahead. Knowing this, we all have a choice to make. Do we continue down the current road we are on and continue to live in the moment or do we choose to reverse course and replace the things we have lost with healthier and more positive activities?
Check back on December 16 for part 2 of this discussion…