Image showing separation of two hands. It conveys the meaning of social distancing in a photo.

We must have taken social distancing seriously, not only with strangers but also with loved ones; otherwise the once upon a time roaring figures which exceeded 80,000 cases per day could not have plunged down to 1700.

The UK has learnt a huge lesson from the second lockdown if not the first one. Once we were deemed the naughty child of Europe. Now we have transitioned into the golden child amid following tighter government restrictions. After all, every cloud has a silver lining.

Although majority of the UK citizens have taken the 2m social distancing measures and other restrictions seriously, one thing which remains uncertain is whether the term Social Distancing has synchronised with our social lives too.


Physical and psychological distancing

Surely, coming to close contact with those outside of our homes wasn’t allowed for a certain period of time. But what about the unanswered phone calls and ignored text messages?

How many of us would say they have maintained all relationships with friends and family since lockdown?

It’s no doubt that lockdown has resulted in many of us putting a pause on certain relationships. Some which we would presumably revisit when we escape lockdown. But what about others? The relationships which we think are done for good but would not have the courage to end without closure? Or having some consequential responsibility if it wasn’t for lockdown?

Despite the government authorities constantly reviewing action plans and road maps, we still don’t know when our lives will return to normal.

Everything for the moment is subject to change and dependent on case figures, death rates, vaccination progress, variant fears; the list goes on…


Are we looking for excuses?

Are we distancing because we have to, or is lockdown our new excuse to distance ourselves from people?

Lockdown has messed up our routines, our occupational and financial situations, and the ways in which we make use of our free time.

When given the option to call or FaceTime a friend, how many of us have attempted or responded?

When given the opportunity to work from home which most people used to dream of from their office desks (pre-lockdown) many raised complaints and questioned the effectiveness of work productivity.

With all the flexibility we had in terms of work hours or being furloughed one could have focused on their health and wellbeing an cultivate healthier habits. Instead, many have inherited extraordinary eating and sleeping patterns and spent almost no time exercising.

Yes, the virus is to blame for our changing lives. But not for the lack of discipline and motivation most of us have adapted as a new lifestyle.


The importance of taking a break

Contrasting to this argument, we are all humans and not robots! And it is acceptable for us to have downtimes. Exceptions could and should be made and exist for us to make use of them when needed.

Mental health awareness should be considered and acknowledged at every possible occasion. Disconnecting from social life for a while shouldn’t be disregarded. However, all of these things are only acceptable if and when they are practiced within boundaries.

It is important that we don’t allow any hurdles to overtake our lives, hence lose momentum. And when we can’t stop, we shouldn’t refrain from asking for help. As long as the intention to change for good exists, then it is never too late or impossible for anything!

So what will normal mean for us then? Is it lockdown which has resulted in the majority to act a certain way? Or is it our emotions which have caused us to have locked and frozen minds?

It is an unavoidable fact that not only has social distancing measures protected us from strangers we don’t know and vice versa, but it has consequently integrated a socially distant mindset inside of our heads; firstly, targeting ourselves with the lack of passion we have left for our ambitions and goals, secondly towards the way we show love to our loved ones.

Photo by Nadine Shaabana from Unsplash

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