Unspoken Rules

After a year of being out of practise socialising, I’m sure the thought of going back to normal fills us with joy and a dash of apprehension. In a year where rules have governed even the most small of life’s liberties, I’ve been thinking of some of those unspoken rules and how they can help us navigate through the new ‘golden age’ of life after Covid.

The Power of No

Say it now. No. No. No. Whether it’s saying to your friend you won’t be breaking lockdown rules, ‘no’ because you can’t face another Zoom sessions with a co-worker who doesn’t make the bed, or ‘no’ because you’re washing your hair that night (believe me, that works and I’m bald!). Discover the positive power of saying ‘no’. You’ll feel better, have more space for yourself, and be better person for those around you.

Holding a grudge?

People breaking the rules grinding your gears? Oh, that’s a toughie. It could be a birthday party with no social distancing, a runner passing by too close to you in your daily exercise time, or a social media post that makes you want to scream, “PANDEMIC!”. Remembering that you’re doing your part, encourage those around you to do theirs, and simply, “snooze” those who willingly plaster their “Throwback Thursday” Instagram posts. You’ve go enough going on, ditch the anger and frustration and focus on you.

I’ll miss that

What will you miss from lockdown? I bet you can’t wait to get back to the 45 minute work commute, meal deals from Tesco, or the smell of Karen’s tuna sandwich at lunchtime (sorry, Karen). No? I didn’t think so. Transport yourself forward in time when normality will be here again. Will you miss seeing your kids come home from school at 3pm, having a friendly lunchtime chat with your neighbour, or never missing a parcel delivery from one of your high street shops again? Think now about getting that balance right, and don’t be afraid to put those steps in place when the time comes.

Equal Opportunities

Whether you marched with the Black Lives Matter movement, gave to a food bank during your weekly shop, celebrated all the wonderful in your life for IWD, or watched the news in horror at the thought of the American election going in the favour of a man who applies a shade of Ronseal’s Deep Denial, I mean Deep Mahogany wood stain to his skin! It’s clear social and economic divides are alive and real. The pandemic has taught us that change comes from collective action. Get to know those who you would never have spoken to before. They may surprise you.

All By Myself

Whether Eric and Celine’s backing-track to the last 12 months fills you with dread or gives you a sense of empowerment, one thing we all need to continue to do is keep looking out for each other- especially those who live by themselves. Keep that contact with the elderly neighbour down the road, the fiercely independent friend, and those who reached out for a chat during lockdown. Be a darlin’!

Dress to Express

I’ve been guilty of the old zoom meeting wardrobe choice being far from acceptable working attire this year. Although dressing down has its benefits; it’s comfortable, more environmentally friendly, and has been linked to boosting productiveness in the short term, many of us need a fresh look and change to keep us stimulated. Our wardrobes are an easy way to express ourselves in a world where we need to be apart for a little while longer. So, put on that disco glitter jacket for the online Zumba class, grab those ties at the back of the wardrobe for that work call, and put on your favourite colour to make you pop and feel great.

Yes, I can do that!

For sure, we’ve had a taste of the simplest life whether we’ve liked it or not this past! Cancelled holiday plans, no visits to the local pub, and not being able to see your favourite auntie has made us all very cautious of making social plans- how do we even have a conversation with another person these days? Yes, putting that first date in the diary to explore what lies outside of Penarth, or going to see your dearly missed bestie can be a little scary, but if you keep it simple, it’ll be more achievable. No fuss, no frills, no disasters!