This global pandemic has lasted almost a year now, and has it changed us? And if so, have we changed for the better or worse?
by Alice Alcaras
This global pandemic is something that regards all of us. Everyone has been affected by it. It has impacted us not only from an emotional and medical point of view, but has also affected the way people behave. How have people changed and what led to this change?
Even though the pandemic's first appearance is a very recent event, studies have already been conducted on this behavioral change matter. Lockdown is such a big limiting factor for us humans - it prevents us from pursuing our usual, frenetic lives everyday. And, not being able to go outside unless absolutely necessary and placing these restrictions have changed many people. This article presents a trilemma on how people have changed positively and negatively, and the factors behind these changes.
On a more negative note.
Unfortunately, some negative attitudes have developed during the lockdown. However, we should not see them as a failure or as a disappointment, but in a way, we can improve ourselves.
Studies have shown that people tend to follow a more sedentary behaviour during lockdown, which was expected from the start. Being confined in a house has led to a more sedentary lifestyle and has prevented us from pursuing simple and insignificant moments like walking to the car. Combined, these insignificant movements could have made our lives less sedentary.
In addition, the lockdown prevents people from completing vigorous physical activities outdoors or at sports facilities. At the bare minimum, they can only pursue the less vigorous physical activities that do not require much space or equipment.
All the social aspects have also been highly affected, especially for younger adults and teens. Using online platforms like Zoom or virtual games to communicate with peers are not the same as physically hanging out and getting to know friends and others.
Moreover, as a coping mechanism or just as a consequence of having more free time, there have been reports of an increase in alcohol and substance abuse. We need to keep in mind that people are not in their best mental state during lockdowns, which is what brings us to behave in certain ways.
Lockdown has also been shown to bring an increase in stress and anxiety, developing more negative attitudes. Unfortunately, stress is a big factor which can affect many aspects of our lives if we let it thrive. However, we can combat this by turning our heads to look at positive attitudes we can foster through these hard times.
From a positive side.
How can being forced to stay at home all day have a positive effect?
Studies have been shown that the lockdown has led to people having better waste management and an increased interest in our well-being and health. During this period of time where everything seems to be going wrong, better waste management is a little step forward to improve our polluted world.
In addition, the fact that we have more time on our hands makes it possible for us to dedicate more time to ourselves. People are promoting self-care - an increased moderate physical activity and pursuing activities that make us happy, not ones we must do - has shown to be a good combat to the negativity.
People have also started to follow healthier diets. People cook more often, eat less processed foods, and spend more time looking after their calorie counts. In addition to diets, people have also been able to organize their time and sleep more during the night due to a lack of time restrictions during the day.
Furthermore, even though people have been restricted from interacting with peers, studies have shown that the lockdown has helped tighten family bonds and families spend more time with each other.
And, we cannot forget that all these factors are kept together by one very important thing - our mental wellbeing. If all these things have improved, it is all down to the fact that they are good for our mental health. Our mental health needs to be in a good state to be able to make a positive change in our lives.
On a mid-stance.
Both positive and negative attitudes have been shown to have increased because of this lockdown. As a result, we changed and are still changing. However, these behaviour changes might not refer to each one of us perfectly.
In addition, many of us will have and have had different experiences from the lockdown. Moreover, since a second lockdown is most likely upon us,it is important to reflect on what has happened and analyze what good attitudes we should pursue and what we should improve about ourselves. In this time of big change, it is essential to keep track of ourselves and see things from a more positive point of view.