Coronavirus lockdown: I liked staying in
From loving lockdown to other vexing issues of a personal nature, clinical psychologist Jo Lamble answers questions from readers looking for expert advice on social dilemmas and relationship problems.
Lockdown, however difficult, also created a moment of rest and self-care. We’d be forgiven for enjoying certain aspects of it – no hangovers on Sundays, lots of quiet time for hobbies, and of course brushing up on our best banana bread recipes.
If the adjustment back to a somewhat ‘normal’ social life has you in a twist, like this Body+Soul reader, Jo Lamble has offered her best advice to get back out there.
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I actually liked lockdown and staying at home. I’ve never been much of a social person, always preferring smaller groups or one-on-one catch-ups rather than big parties. But over the past year, I’ve even felt like I don’t want to do anything much at all. For months, I’ve used the pandemic as an excuse not to go out, but it’s starting to wear thin with the people in my life. Everyone else can’t wait to get out and about, and I’m worried something is wrong with me.
It’s amazing how many people actually liked being in lockdown and staying at home. For some, it was a chance to slow down their lives.
For others, it was an opportunity to re-connect with those in their household. And for some people, like you, it gave them an excuse not to have to be overly social. There’s nothing wrong with preferring the company of a small group. It can, however, be a problem if you become totally socially withdrawn, because that’s not good for us.
We’re wired to connect with other humans, and not having that connection can affect our mood. I’d be worried if you said you’re no longer interested in any of the activities you used to enjoy. That could mean that you’re depressed. But if you’ve never loved being in a big group, that’s not a concern at all. Are there one or two friends who you’d be comfortable seeing at the moment?
Sometimes we have to push ourselves for the sake of our own wellbeing. Often, when we do push ourselves, we end up being pleased we did. I’m hoping that after a few low-key catch-ups, you’ll feel more socially motivated. But chances are you’ll never enjoy big parties – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Got an issue for Jo to tackle? Send your questions to [email protected]