National day of reflection: A year on from the UK’s first lockdown 


Today marks a year since Britain first went into a nationwide lockdown, charities have called for a “national day of reflection” in remembrance of the people who have passed, and the challenges overcome.


The remembrance events organisers, which include the British Red Cross and Marie Curie, have announced there will be a minute silence at 12 noon and public landmarks will be lit up across the country at 8 pm for a doorstep vigil.


Boris Johnson has announced his support for the initiative: “This has been an incredibly difficult year for our country. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones, and who have not been able to pay tribute to them in the way they would have wanted.


“As we continue to make progress against the virus, I want to thank people for the sacrifices they continue to make, and hope they can look forward to being reunited with loved ones as restrictions are cautiously eased.”


This day recognises the unwavering national efforts this country has gone to in the fight against the virus. Whilst there are still tough times ahead, this annual day gives us time to pause and reflect on how far we have come; this is a time to show support for your loved ones and support one another through the collective grief. 


On this monumental day, we asked some of our team to share their thoughts. What has lockdown taught you? 



Meg 


Gratitude, appreciation and a can-do spirit, especially for things that I took for granted before lockdown. In particular…

  • the importance of meaningful connections with people that have a positive impact on me and my life.
  • being grateful for my home and garden. 
  • slowing down over the past year. 

Yes, it has been a tough year, but I have learnt to appreciate what I have, what I have achieved and also a can-do attitude.



Chloe 


The past year has been one of transformation and growth, both physically and mentally. 

Before lockdown, I think we can all agree, life was manic and the time taken for personal growth was minimal. Whilst trying to find ways to deal with the shared grief and loss we were all experiencing, I fell back in love with yoga, reading and journaling; my long lost hobbies became my coping mechanisms and are now things I don't think I could be without!



Ari

I have a lot of free time and I didn’t realise it


Back in Brazil, my working hours would be from 9 am-7 pm (because of a 2-hour lunch break). When I started working here, this changed to 8:30 am-5 pm, which already makes a huge difference to how much time I’d have to dedicate to hobbies. On top of that, working from home has allowed me to save up to 2hours, which I’d spend on my commute. 

Because of this, I have been able to read a lot more than in the past 5 years. Not only have I fallen back in love with literature, but now I have also realised that even when lockdown eases this will not be a hard habit to keep.

 

Jamie 

I’ve learned that life can change in the blink of an eye and that we have such little control over many aspects of our lives that time spent worrying really is wasted time. As we (celebrate?) a year since the start of the pandemic in the U.K., I think it is an opportunity to reflect on a challenging year and feel proud of those hurdles we have overcome. As we progress out of this, we will be able to use the lessons we have learned to power us into the future in a way that makes us more resilient, more rounded and more appreciative. 

I’ll certainly be living my life that way and I hope that this will bring me greater happiness, appreciating the things that I have in the ‘here and now rather than chasing aspirational happiness. I think the world could learn a thing or two from that and taking that moment to just slow down and enjoy where they’re at. 

I’ve also learned that I will never again pass judgement on the quality of a restaurant, the speed of the service, the state of a hotel or a delayed flight. I’ll remind myself that the person I’m talking to has, more than likely, had a difficult time through the pandemic too and deserves the utmost empathy.