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GENISYS ARCt

NORMALITY AFTER LOCKDOWN

For many, the last year has been a long and lonely road, one that is not yet completed. As things within the world begin to speed up over the next few months, it’s important to not feel the pressure of rushing back into a normality that we haven’t seen for over a year.

As a society, we've adjusted to a new normal too many times to count over the course of Covid-19 and now is no different. It may seem that there are a variety of pressures piling up at your doorstep, and you’re expected to sort through them all at once. Whether it’s financial difficulties, pressure to socialise or trying to find work after an extremely difficult time. However, it's important to remember that setting your own pace is extremely important, especially when you may find events and experiences challenging throughout the next few months.

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Setting limits within your life is a powerful and important step in improving your mental health. While these limits will not act as a damaging and restrictive form of self-attention, it will help you to set your own pace and progression into making your way back into the free world. These limits may be within your social, professional, and emotional pieces of your life. This may come in the form of you slowly starting to visit friends again or searching for new career opportunities- especially if you’ve found yourself unemployed like so many people have during the pandemic. While piecing together all aspects of your life, it’s important to only do these things when you feel that your mental health is ready.

As life becomes blurrier than it ever has been, with new events every week and slowly making our way back into offices, it’s crucial to hold onto the independent parts of ourselves we had an abundance of in lockdown. Holding on to the hobbies and activities that helped you find solace during a dark time is a great way to maintain a balance within the hectic new lifestyle that may be approaching many of us. Whether it's a small business, new sport or exercise, or even volunteering with Genisys ARCt, continuing these independent hobbies will not only help you to form constructive habits as life becomes busier, but it will also be a productive distraction for when your social battery runs out and you need some alone time.

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For many, this last year of lockdown has been a great year filled with personal development and new ventures. Whether you took the year to relax or have created a small business out of lockdown like so many have, it is never too early or late to start thinking about it. A great form of your personal development- especially when thinking about gaining employment or career progression is upskilling. Upskilling is a way of learning skills to add to your current ones, whether it’s a course in First-Aid, volunteering to help attain relevant work experience or making a hobby transferable to your desired field of work (blogging, art, or cooking). Having this first-hand experience can help future employers see the initiative you have taken to create relevant experience and manage the project ownership of your career.

Here at Genisys ARCt we offer a variety of volunteering experiences for anyone with the passion to make a difference and better themselves. With our WV2 Doing Things Differently Through Volunteering programme, it offers people the chance to gain industry insights and mentorship through work experience helping you to gain long-term employment in the future.

It’s important to remember that while lockdown may have been a positive journey for you, many have had a year of difficulties, isolation, and loss. It's also vital we consider that many have been left living in unstable environments that they were either planning to leave or have worsened throughout lockdown due to Covid-19 restrictions forcing us to stay in homes. Feeling secure within your surroundings during a chaotic time in history is the priority, and if you are in a situation where you find this to not be the case, then let your friends, partner and family know, helping to give them the space to support you. If you or someone you know can relate to feeling extremely down, alone, or in danger within this turbulent year, please do not keep this silent. Speak to friends, family, or partners if possible. If you are vulnerable or unable to speak to those around you, don't feel anxious about seeking mental health advice from either a GP, counsellor, or support group within your community, they are there to help you.

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Most importantly, remember that how you are feeling is completely normal. Whether you’re ready to make a splash in the rest of 2021 or feel a gradual paddle back to normality suits you better- both feelings are valid. Remembering to adapt to your wellbeing and allow an honest conversation into your life to gain the most from your professional career and social life, but most importantly your health and wellbeing.

Written by Maddi Kealy