Christians Against Poverty share lessons to learn from lockdown

As the world has battled on through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all faced our own challenges.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 10:19 am
Paul Baillie
Paul Baillie

However, there are positives to be found in every situation, and with lockdown restrictions continuing to ease, it’s time to start thinking about what we’ve learned and how we can use this in the future.

The importance of savings

You may have found that building up savings has been easier during the pandemic, with working from home and travelling less having cut costs. Perhaps you’ve been fortunate enough to be able to pay off some debts with the money you’ve saved. The pandemic has shown us all the importance of having a buffer to fall back on and we can take this lesson with us into the future. Thinking ahead to when life returns to ‘normal’, where could you realistically cut costs to allow you to build up or increase your savings pot?

Celebrating small wins

With retailers like B&Q having reported ‘exceptional demand’ during the pandemic, it’s clear that many of us have caught the DIY bug while spending more time at home. You may have noticed that rearranging a room, painting, or even putting up a shelf can help to boost self-confidence and mental wellbeing. That’s because even small achievements are worth celebrating. This is definitely a lesson we can take from lockdown – and maybe some new DIY skills too!

Handling pressure

During the pandemic, many of us have faced increased pressure from things like reduced income, juggling work and childcare, and health concerns. What ways have you found to help you destress during this time? Perhaps you’ve benefitted from going for a daily walk, having healthy snacks or scheduling in time to call a friend. These are useful tips to take with us going forwards as we continue to face the pressures of everyday life.

Making the most of a new skill or hobby

Perhaps the extra time at home has given you the chance to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. It may be easy to fall back into old habits when you return to your usual routine, but hold tight to the benefits you got from this new activity, like having time to relax, feeling productive, and the joy of doing something for yourself. You could even turn it into a way to earn some cash – see diseasecalleddebt.com/frugal-hobbies-to-make-money for inspiration.

Being thankful

Until the pandemic hit, many of us didn’t realise how much we’d been taking for granted, like seeing family, spending time with friends, and being free to go out amongst other things. The restrictions in our daily lives have taught us to cherish what we have, slow down and appreciate the simple things. What did you miss most, and how might you continue to cherish these things in the future?

Asking for help

We’ve also learned that we don’t need to struggle alone. When a crisis hits, sometimes the help we need can be right on our doorsteps. During the pandemic, we’ve seen incredible displays of community spirit as friends and neighbours have helped each other with picking up shopping and delivering medicine.

Similarly, help is available if you’re facing money worries.

Despite the pandemic, thousands of people became debt free through debt help charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) over the last 18 months. And it started with them asking for help. To book an appointment with your local CAP Debt Centre, phone CAP Debt Freephone on 0800 328 0006 to start your journey out of debt today. Alternatively, there are many other organisations including StepChange, Citizens Advice and The Money Advice Service where you can get free advice and support right now.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity with over 580 services across the country delivering debt counselling, money management, job clubs, life skills groups, and support for people breaking life-controlling dependencies. Visit capuk.org or contact Lisburn CAP debt centre manager Paul Bailie (email [email protected]) to find out more.