And which lessons did we learn?
The first few things that come up to my mind, and probably to many others, is that we miss hugging our friends and family, our freedom and how important sport is for physical and mental health. But if we look closer, we might agree on a few lessons we learned.
The ability to enjoy the simple things in life
And how to deal with boredom. I remember the first few weeks where I was freaking out. What was I going to do all those hours being at home, not being able to go out for lunch, dinner or drinks in a bar? No visits to museums on the weekend or concerts. I didn’t have the patience nor the time for reading a book. Or to spend the entire Sunday cooking. Or to just lay in bed while listening to music. Only thinking about it made me anxious. But when everything is taken away from you, the only thing you can do is surrender. It taught me how to fully enjoy having a walk in the park. Eating homemade lunch on a random bench in the sun. Taking the time to make our own pasta at home with a glass of red wine. But also people started painting, drawing, making music, planning day trips by bike outside the city. You name it. With that, we came to realize that there is no need to go far to enjoy, relax or discover the new.
Friends and family keep us sane
And how great are walks in the park for (re)connecting with people! We often forget how important social interactions are. Especially people living by themself experienced a tough time during the lockdown. We need someone to talk to and to laugh with. While it was very difficult to meet new people, I felt it was easier to reconnect with friends who I hadn’t seen in a long time and I got closer with current friends due to the long one to one walks outside.
At the same time, we got closer to our families. Many moved back to their home country, to be closer to parents, sisters, or loved ones. Working from home for me meant I was able to work from my hometown, close to my family and nature.
Realization of what is really important to us
In general, I noticed a lot of people came to the realization that a full-time office job isn’t truly making them happy. Working from home gave us the freedom to work from wherever and the opportunity to spend time on our personal projects and setting up side businesses.
We also increased our time spent in nature. We dived into gardening, rented cabins in the woods or at the beach and walked a crazy amount of kilometers in parks. Many people moved outside the city because they realized without the need of going to the office or having a thriving social life, the city doesn’t have enough to offer to make us happy and relaxed.
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Interview: In pursuit of a truly slow life at The Kip in Sri Lanka