Things do feel different this time.
Firstly, it isn’t a surprise - I think many of us felt this was going to happen again, but it hasn’t appeared out of nowhere, we have time to plan and prepare.
Secondly, most businesses have had a chance to already design what lockdown looks like for them, so the initial challenges might be easier to deal with - but for those many businesses who can’t “wfh”, there’s little optimism.
Thirdly, and here’s the biggest difference, we’ve been dealing with this for a long-term now - and I don’t mean that as a positive thing, but rather, we’ve been struggling with the stress, significant or underlying, for six months or more now. And it’s tiring.
Rather than a light at the end of the tunnel, it feels like we’re approaching a new tunnel - and for many, that’s just ridden with anxiety, exhaustion and concern.
And for many, who have found themselves in new ways of working as a result of the first lockdown, perhaps through remote working, furlough, redundancy or having chosen to go freelance during the pandemic or after the relaxation of the restrictions, there’s a new set of experiences yet to come.
Much of what we’ll write will be the same: build a support bubble, keep talking and sharing and asking how others are doing, communicate with your clients, and give yourself a break. But also, we need to build in a new set of behaviours which help us to create resilience to change, to stress and to ongoing challenges.
As ever, our insights and suggestions come from a combination of our communities sharing their ideas and approaches and from evidence based work into wellbeing and mental health - so if you have stories to share, or recommendations and advice to give - do please come and take part in the community
If nothing else, there’s a kettle on, and we’ll make you a cuppa.