SO, how are you doing really? Is it all starting to feel like this is the new routine and it’s difficult to imagine life after lockdown or are you starting to plan and prepare for a whole new way of doing and living afterwards? writes Ingleton fitness instructor and former bank manager, Sharon Rucastle.

Did you sign up for some learning, keep doing the exercise, work on the new recipes and nutrition in a frenzy of enthusiasm at the beginning and now it all seems a bit too much like hard work?

Have you been busier than ever with still working on the front line and trying to juggle work and school work for the kids, making sure everyone is OK and contacting the older relatives? Who ever thought a bit of shopping locally could take around two hours?

Do you sit around all day in your PJs or are you getting dressed? Isn’t it amazing how much of our wardrobe is not needed at the moment? I hope it doesn’t all shrink from lack of use!

Have you got to grips with the new technology that you had no need to learn before lockdown? How about Zoom meetings? Our church has a coffee morning at the normal after church service time and each week more people are managing to join. The service is on Youtube as is so much more. I’ve bitten the bullet and started doing Zoom classes for a new ‘Mum and Baby’ group that set up as new mums are feeling isolated. I also do a Zoom group for my regular clients.

Are you ringing people and just having a chat? I must admit that as time goes on one week starts to merge into the next but for some people each day feels like a week. It’s not just older people either, there are a lot of lonely younger people out there too. Keep in touch.

Is the garden looking like you’ve vacuumed the lawn and dusted the patios? Not a blade of grass out of place or is that the job you will get around to soon?

Have you been promised money from various schemes but it’s not arrived yet and you are not even due to hear about it until June? Do you listen to the programmes telling you how to access funds and know that nothing applies to you? Are you worried about your job after this and wonder how you can apply for new positions during lock down?

Education and learning - have you learned new things in this time, built on your knowledge and taken advantage of all the courses around? Do you think you will continue to look at new things moving forward to help stimulate you and your brain.

Let’s reset and look at this again. We are starting to hear that plans will be made to start easing lockdown and how we will get things going again. It’s time to rethink. Do we want everything to go back to how it was or do we want to keep some of the stuff we learned during this time? Do we want to try and do things differently or do we just want to get back to normal?

Work – have we started to do some of it remotely, without the long commute each day; could we keep some of that? What about the monthly team meeting, could that be Zoom and save everyone from rushing about the country to one location? Have we learned new skills that could be of use in the future? What about training sessions? Do we need to be in a classroom?

Meals – Have we had time to try out and find new recipes? Have you learned that cooking needn’t take a long time and that meal preparation can be done quicker than ringing for a take away and waiting for it to arrive, as well as being cheaper, of course.

Clothes and consumer durables – have you worked out that actually you need less of everything? Now that money is more of a consideration has your need to buy things waned a little?

Family and friends – have you learned how important it is to keep in touch and be kind; to take the time to ring someone and just listen to them and talk to them?

Whatever you choose to do moving forward and it will be different for everyone, this has been a time when the world stopped for a while for some of us and we got off the hamster wheel. It’s been a time to rethink and reflect and the answers will be different for all of us. There is no right way or wrong way, some of us will be just holding on and getting over the loss of loved ones and working out the finances.

Some of us will be rushing into a brave new world with enthusiasm and new plans. The main thing is to hold onto the new neighbourly way of doing things and caring for each other. Let’s learn from this experience and make out streets, villages, towns and country a better place to live in.