This weekend was Halloween, a time of year that previously has been filled with exciting costumes, friends, and fun. Whether you usually like to hit the town in an outfit you’ve been planning for months, or just stay in to watch a movie marathon, it was clear to us all that this year, Halloween wasn’t going to be ‘normal’. Unless you count normal Halloween as being really scary. If so, then yes. It’s scary right now.
On Saturday night I sat, like the rest of England, on my sofa waiting for Boris Johnson to announce what we all knew was coming. After months of being told things were kind of on the up, revisiting friends, family and ‘Eating Out To Help Out’, rumours started swirling that we were to be plunged straight back into lockdown.
The 4:30pm announcement because 5pm, 5pm became 6pm and just when we thought they surely couldn’t leave us waiting any longer, the PM appeared and told us what we’d all been worried about.
How Long This Time?
We’re going into lockdown again from Thursday 5th November. For a month. Or longer. They don’t know yet. Personally, I feel it’s such a shame because this situation has been severely mishandled. Companies and businesses that had to close for months are just starting to get back on their feet – and will face closures again. Kids will be stuck at university in tiny rooms far away from their families. People who don’t live in nuclear families with an outdoor space and room to get away from one another are facing being alone or being stuck in a toxic environment. Our wonderful NHS are looking at bed shortages and the frustration of still being underfunded.
Regardless of how you or I feel politically, this lockdown is a little bit different to the last. The days are shorter, and when you’re stuck inside, the darkness can feel stifling. The suicide rate since coronavirus began has not been officially published, but there is a strong discourse that mental health services are at the brink. People are really struggling.
We’re All In It Together
Just like we all went through the first lockdown together, with memes and Zoom quizzes and banana bread, we can get through this one together. They say hindsight is 20/20, so maybe we can do this one ‘better’, too. Not everyone’s situation is the same – some have it better, some have it worse, depending on how you look at it – but judging by the way things are being managed, it’s clear we only have each other to rely on this time around.
Not only that, but it’s not spring anymore. It’s winter, which means no leisurely evening walks in the park or catching some rays on your lunch break. UK winters are brutal and it is much worse when you’re on your own.
We want you to know that we at Kossie are here for you and are always here to listen to your concerns and worries. Submit a concern via DM on our Instagram and we can match you with an accredited coach to help you. Join our dedicated Mental Health Group to connect with like-minded woman to form a virtual support bubble.
Your mental health is always at the forefront of our work, outreach and output. Please don’t suffer in silence.
What Else Can I Do?
As mentioned, everyone’s situation is different. Here are a couple of little boosts and tips from us to get you through the next month, and beyond.
#Mindset 1: You Got Through The First One – You Can Do It Again
This is an undeniable fact. You are still here and you have managed to pull through the first lockdown. You’ve already proved to yourself you can do it.
#Mindset 2: Learn From Last Time
Hated Zoom quizzes and wished you’d spent more time reading your book pile? Now’s your chance. That’s the positive thing about doing things a second time around – you can do it better. Really focus on what sparks joy for you – if you can find it, the time may pass more quickly and more positively.
#Mindset 3: Keep Talking
You might hate those Zoom quizzes, but you can’t deny that technology has been incredible for keeping us all connected. It’s unfortunate that a lot of events will again have to be cancelled, but keep in touch. Check in on your friends, especially those who you know are in difficult living situations. There’s no substitute for human contact, but it’s all we’ve got right now.
#Mindset 4: It Won’t Be Forever
It might feel like it, but this won’t last forever, I promise. I say that even though I waver myself sometimes. But it won’t. One day, we’ll be back being shunted back and forth in a bar, queuing for a drink, and one day we’ll go to festivals and on holiday and have big BBQs.
Keep thinking about your next steps. The future’s bright.
Do you have any specific worries about the next lockdown? What are your tips for getting through it?