Looking forward to a new appreciation of the ordinary post-lockdown

(Last Updated On: March 22, 2021)

NEW research by Specsavers has identified what we can’t wait to see, hear and do as lockdown restrictions are eased, with six in 10 people looking forward to things many of us considered mundane pre-lockdown.

Some of life’s simpler pleasures, such as experiencing a busy high street (26%), a trip to the garden centre (24%) or merely sharing a smile (28%) have been missed most during lockdown.

Half of people have been busy planning their post-lockdown lives, according to the study, conducted by OnePoll. Being able to go on holiday whenever you fancy tops the list at 41%, while one in six (15%) said a trip to the Toby Carvery is something they’d savor in future.

The study has also highlighted the importance of human connections. 40% said they want to see people without their masks, while 76% of people who enjoy a hug have found restrictions especially hard.

Specsavers has partnered with Sensory Trust to highlight the importance of sight and hearing in appreciating all life has to offer. Jane Stoneham, Director of Sensory Trust, says: ‘This research highlights the human need for connection with people and places through sensory experiences. It is interesting to see that second on the list is seeing people without masks and number six is shaking someone’s hand.

‘We know that connecting with people and places on a sensory level provides deeper, longer lasting experiences. From the smells and sounds associated with being in the middle of a crowd of people at a festival on a hot day to the shaking of a hand or a hug with a loved one, sensory input such as this gets our neurons firing, laying down new pathways.

‘Our senses are closely connected with memory – recalling past ones and laying down new memories. For example, emotions can be triggered by a sounds even before our cognitive processes have recognised what that sound is.’

Queuing for a beer at a gig (11%), being crammed in on public transport (8%) or stuck in traffic (8%) and making the office tea (9%) will apparently no longer be sources of disgruntlement.

Dr Josie Forte, Specsavers clinical spokesperson, says: ‘There are some ordinary experiences that you would never have thought you’d miss until something unexpected like the pandemic happened.

‘As the sights, smells and sounds of daily life, however mundane, look set to resume this summer, it’ll be interesting to see how this newfound appreciation impacts people and how long it will last – or will many of us revert to taking such things for granted again?’

Pre-lockdowns, 83% of adults admitted that they took the freedom of their daily life for granted, but those polled estimated it’ll take a further nine months following restrictions being lifted for life to feel ‘normal’ once more. While 40% think that there will be further covid lockdowns, 48% fear they’ll find it hard to readjust to the way things were. A third plan to carry on life at a slower pace, while 33% want more quality family time and 21% will take more moments to stop and reflect in future.

The sounds we are looking forward to include waves crashing on the shore (39%), live music (32%) and scissors cutting our hair (29%), while more than one in 10 of us cited the sound of a shop assistant shouting ‘next’ at a busy till as something they’ll revel in again soon.

Dr Forte adds: ‘There are definitely plenty of everyday moments to look forward to in the coming months so getting your sight and hearing checked will ensure that you can enjoy these moments to the maximum.’

For more information or to request an appointment at your local store, visit www.specsavers.co.uk.

1. Being able to go on holiday whenever we want
2. Seeing people without masks
3. A sunny pub garden
4. Going shopping for clothes
5. Having a pint with a friend
6. Smiling at someone
7. Shaking someone’s hand
8. The sights and sounds of a busy high street
9. Going to the theatre
10. Not worrying about booking a dental or optician appointment
11. Waiting for a plane at the airport
12. Going to the garden centre
13. Hairdressers asking if you’ve got any holidays coming up
14. Doing the supermarket shop with the family
15. Picking an outfit to wear out
16. After work drinks
17. Impromptu gatherings in the park
18. A trip to the Toby Carvery
19. Seeing the grandchildren
20. Heading out for DIY supplies
21. Choosing a book at the library
22. Going to the gym
23. Having a face-to-face work meeting
24. Wearing a new item of clothing to the pub
25. Chats with neighbours over the fence
26. A shop assistant shouting ‘next’ at busy tills
27. The first beer on a Friday evening after work
28. Queuing for your favourite lunch takeaway
29. Being in the middle of a crowd of people at festival on a hot day
30. Asking colleagues about their weekends
31. Queuing for a beer at a gig
32. People gathered around for a gossip at work
33. The smells of the football ground
34. Filling the car with fuel
35. Doing a coffee and tea round in the office
36. All your mates cheering when you join slightly late on a night out
37. Commuting to work
38. Your own desk and chair at work
39. Bird watching
40. Getting onto a crammed train or bus
41. Getting stuck in traffic
42. Making small talk with other parents at the school gates
43. Smart work attire
44. Asking taxi drivers if they’ve been busy
45. Waiting for a train – only to find it delayed
46. Trying and failing to get tickets for things like Wimbledon, Glastonbury etc
47. A packed boardroom or meeting room at work
48. Hearing announcements on the London underground
49. Being on a busy tube
50. Watching Wimbledon in a public space

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