Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
There’s no denying that our routines changed a bit during the lockdown. It taught us what to prioritise and made us reassess our habits. We may have picked up some different or new habits while adapting. Here are some of the lockdown habits that we should continue doing even though it is over.
Support Local Businesses
When lockdown started it forced nearly all businesses to close down. While some managed to remain open or go online, most could only open when the restrictions were lifted. There was a movement for people to start supporting local businesses, as they were hit harder than corporate businesses. Now, according to EY, as a result of the pandemic, “consumers show greater preference for shops, restaurants and brands that feel local”. One of the factors that influenced this was a social good. Now that businesses are mostly open, here is why you should continue to support local:
- Keeps the local economy growing. When you buy local, most of the money you spend will be circulated back within the community. Especially if that business uses local supplies also.
- Know your supplier- growing a relationship with your local butcher, grocer, or supplier can never be a bad thing. They can explain in-depth where your supplies are coming from, and how that may benefit the local community. You get to know the local business companies, develop pride in your community, and expand your community sphere. This leads to the next point.
- A more personalised experience – you know these people and they know you. They will be able to help better with locating something that suits your tastes.
- Unique – by investing locally, we invest in the amenities that make your community unique. By investing locally, we create new jobs, businesses and resources that are built around, and reflect, the local community.
Not all of these businesses are in person though. There are a lot of small Irish businesses you can support through buying their goods online.
More like this.
Walking and Exercising
One of the only ways we could get out of the house during quarantine was our allowed daily walk. Even though we had a strict 5 kilometre distance outside of our homes, we made the most of it. It quickly became one of our most utilised lockdown habits. Here are some reasons why we should continue that habit.
Walking daily is known to:
- Improve your mood and release stress- get those endorphins pumping around your body.
- Improves Circulation – the restrictions we had meant that we sat in our houses more than we had before. There was less travelling to and from work or school, the gyms were closed, no going out to socialise. Getting up and walking will improve the circulation in your body. This makes your heart work faster to pump the blood around your body, which in return strengthens it.
- Walking may reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Boosts immune system – perhaps one of the biggest benefits during this time, walking can help boost your immune system. A study showed that “improved innate immune functions, indicative of reduced infection risk”.
And these benefits apply to exercise too. With the gym’s tentatively opening up you can hit that treadmill or elliptical again. Or, if gyms aren’t your thing, why not try an at-home workout? A quick search on YouTube will give you several workouts to choose from. From a quick 5-minute one before you head out the door, to 30-minute yoga routines to relax at the end of the day. These at-home workouts became immensely popular during lockdown and, while life is getting busier, we can still implement them into our new everyday routine.
Video Chat With Family and Friends
Socialising was vastly different during lockdown. One of the ways we had to change was how we interacted with family and friends outside of our house. One solution was the use of video calling and zoom meetings. A few of the reasons why we should keep up this new method of hanging out include:
- It connects people all around the world. If you have family and friends who emigrated right before the lockdown, this is an easy way to keep in touch.
- Multiple people can join- now instead of making separate plans, everyone can join one group call. Maybe watch a movie together, have some drinks, or play a game.
- Reduced cost – it costs hardly anything to video chat with anyone.
- It is also more personal and engaging in video call rather than just texting or ringing as you are face to face. You can do a lot more things together than if you had used another method.
Cooking at Home
I think it’s safe to say that one of the biggest lockdown habits we picked up was cooking at home, especially as the lockdown closed nearly all pubs and restaurants. Everyone seemed to be trying new things (sourdough bread seemed to be the recipe of choice). And there are definitely some benefits to keeping this up!
- Saves money- cooking at home, whether it be a romantic dinner or just for lunch that day, you’ll save some money. Prepare food like lasagna in bulk, pack and freeze them, and you’ll have lunch or dinner prepped for the rest of the week! No need to spend money on takeaways every night anymore.
- Have fun- try a new recipe you’ve never done before. Get your friends or family to join in, (even through video calls) and have everyone try it. Cooking in groups will boost your mood and help relieve stress and, if you’re cooking with kids, start teaching them a life skill.
- Healthier food- when you make food at home, you control the ingredients. This lets you take charge of how healthy a meal or dish is. You can try and remake your favourite takeaway meals at home or come up with your version of a healthy dinner. (It is ok to indulge once in a while though. Balance is key!)
Being able to cook is something that everyone should not only have but enjoy as well. Not only was this a fun activity to do, but it also got everyone trying new things, sharing with friends and family and honing this essential life skill.
So, if there is another lockdown, we know now that we can adapt. We know what to prioritise and how to manage our routines. While some of the lockdown habits we may have picked up or will pick up might not be the best, clearly, some are worth keeping around.
Are there any lockdown habits you picked up that we didn’t cover? Comment below!