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Let’s tune out from the negative headlines for a moment and reflect on a few positives. The theme for this year’s event is Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind – a motto that chimes perfectly with the times.

Over the past year – and yes, it’s almost a year since we were told to Stay at Home – we’ve witnessed many examples of calmness and kindness and learned a few important lessons along the way. Here are a few things we’ll take away from the past 12 months.

  • The importance of community. Before the pandemic, many of us were barely on nodding terms with our neighbours. Twelve months on, things have changed. From setting up food banks, to donating laptops and delivering medicines, kind-hearted folks have shown that charity really does start at home.

  • Enjoyment of nature. Spending so much time indoors has amplified the joys of being outdoors. Whether it’s sitting in the garden or wandering around Pittville Park, we’ve realised just how blissful birdsong and fresh air can be.

  • Health matters. The link between obesity, smoking, and negative Covid outcomes really brought home the importance of looking after ourselves. As a result, many people have adopted healthier lifestyles by taking up a new sport (sales of bikes and running shoes have skyrocketed) or ditching junk food. Meanwhile, 300,000 Brits have quit smoking.

  • Home truths. The pandemic brought the issue of quality of life into sharp focus and prompted many to rethink where and how they live. As a result, many folks moved to gain more space, better WiFi or be closer to their family. Lots of people now have a clearer idea of how they want to live and have reorganised their lives to match these aspirations.

  • We savour the little things. Oh, how we miss popping over to a friend’s place for a cuppa, eating out at restaurants, and visiting the pub. We used to take these things for granted, but when we get back to “normal” and can do them, we’ll savour each and every experience.

 

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