Lockdown #2 – The sequel no-one wanted.

By Dr Julie Denning

The sequel. It’s often much awaited. The first film was excellent, and you can’t wait to see more of your heroine or hero, and their action-packed adventures or love dramas. Some like James Bond go on forever and are much loved. Others are hammier and fall flat on the ears of the pundits. I’m not alone, in my opinion of Speed 2 – am I showing my age? Nevertheless, we still go, we watch, we hope, and we critique.


So, introducing Lockdown #2. What can we expect from this sequel? The first was a crazy, rollercoaster ride. Day to day changes, press conferences and numbers no one wanted to see. Livelihoods challenged, business struggling and human connection methods in a state of flux. Many of us started working from home, making the abrupt transition from office to lounge. A plethora of sources advised on how to look after our mental and physical health. There were also recommendations on how to maintain our social connection and engage with our communities. The sunshine helped.


But what about Lockdown #2? This Lockdown feels a different beast, still wracked with uncertainty. The numbers seem to vary from source to source. The ending of the Lockdown debated by ministers and the hope of a vaccine on the horizon. It took a major, history-making US election to distract us momentarily from the coming weeks ahead.


So where are we at people? It feels like time to regroup and reposition. Flexing with the changes and keeping our optimism and our hope intact. The old rules from Lockdown #1 remain in that we need to keep our mental health and physical health firmly on our radars. I’ve noticed an increase of runners down our road again, and over the weekend I could see bikes from June getting dusted down. Giving to our food bank has increased and community spirit following the 2 minutes of silence of remembrance Sunday harked back to clapping on Thursday evenings. We were out connecting with our neighbours again.


We have more liberty than last time, and this is worth focussing on if Lockdown #2 is impacting on your mood. Make use of the freedom to exercise as much as you can. Connect with your one’ exercise buddy’ and go for a walk. Exercise is medicine, don’t you know – it’s good for the heart and the soul. While you are out, connect with the here and now, notice five things that you can see, hear and feel. We can’t control the past or the future, but we can engage with the here and now and this gives us temporary respite from the tumultuousness of the times.


If you’re back to working in your lounge, remember the rules of WFH: take lots of breaks, go for a 10-minute brisk walk at some point in the day, HAVE LUNCH!, have a laugh with a colleague over a ‘what’s up WhatsApp’ and go for a virtual cuppa. I know it’s not the same, but it will help. We know that lockdowns end, they aren’t sustainable economically or socially, so we have to ride the storm together, keep ourselves as healthy as we can and stay in the here and now.


I’m off for that natter with a colleague, this time about our favourite films – what about you?