With fingers crossed, and while touching wood, it seems like we may be over the worst of COVID-19 and finally on our way back to our normal lives.

The global pandemic has led to massive changes in how we have all had to live our lives. No more daily commutes, no more Friday nights out; in fact, no pubs, restaurants, or gatherings at all for large parts of the year. Nothing has affected the entire world so dramatically since WWII.

But with the UK inoculation programme going so well, it looks as if we can begin a return to normality. After over 12 months of disruption, getting back to real life will take some doing. It’s an exciting time, so, what can you do to prepare?

8 Things to Consider as Lockdown Ends in the UK

#1 Be Kind

COVID-19 has affected people in so many different ways. Some people have had to work hard in extreme circumstances; others have had to face loneliness and isolation. We’ve all had to limit our in-person interaction, and that means many people will suffer from some form of social anxiety.

Whether you’re an outgoing extrovert dying to get back to your normal social life or an introvert that would normally avoid a lot of human interaction, remember to be kind when you talk to others. Most people have found themselves dealing with increased anxiety, health issues, or just the difficulty of making ends meet. Getting back into the rhythm of regular work, interacting with others, and socialising will not be easy for all.

If someone seems a little awkward or flustered, don’t call them out on it, even if you’re in a store or somewhere where you want a certain level of service. Many waiters and retail staff have been at home on and off for a year, and they’ll need some time to get back in the swing of things.

#2 Get Your Car Maintenance on the Calendar

You’ve likely seen your milage drop significantly since 2019 and may have only used your vehicle to drive to the local supermarket and back. Or, you may be amongst those who declared their car SORN to save money. Regardless, we’re all going to be using our vehicles more, so now is the perfect time to ensure they’re legal and in good working order.

If your car has been sidelined, check it over before you start using it for the daily commute or before a long journey. Ensure the fluids are topped up, the tyres are at the correct pressure with a good tread depth, and everything is in working order. If you’ve been putting off your annual service, now is a great time to get it on the calendar.

#3 Prep for Future Travel

If you can’t wait until it’s safe to get a holiday on the calendar, you’re not alone. It won’t be long before air travel becomes common again, for both business and pleasure. Is your passport up to date? If so, apply for a new one soon to avoid the rush, as it can take some time to get a new one through.

And how about travel insurance? Ensure yours is still valid or look into if you can get a good deal now. Similarly, start scouting for good travel deals and consider booking your time off work.

#4 Decide How You Want the Future of Work to Look for You

Some of us have adored working from home, others not so much, and some would love something in between. Many companies are now considering offering flexible work and looking into alternative office spaces that will save them money, so consider talking to your HR or boss about whether they will consider remote work or flexible working.

If not, and you can’t imagine life another way, it may be time to start looking for another position. As mentioned above, many companies have now established their remote work systems, so there will be more opportunities out there.

#5 Review Your Life Insurance

If nothing else, COVID has made us all realise how tenuous life can be and how fast the world can turn upside down. The world is sometimes a scary place, and you can’t always take things for granted.

If you want to give your family financial security should something happen to you, now is the time to review your life insurance or get a policy in place. It is easy to think you are invincible and will live forever, but the pandemic has underlined how wrong that outlook can be. If you need help ensuring you’ve got the right coverage or finding the right policy, we’re here to help.

#6 Review Your Home Security

We’ve all been at home nearly all day and rarely going away, so it’s not exactly been a great time for burglars. However, as we all return to work and school, we may see a rise in crime, so it’s a good idea to review your home security.

Here are a few things to do:
• Review your locks on your doors and windows
• Make sure your external floodlights work
• Get your alarm system maintained or consider getting one installed
• Start getting in the habit of locking doors and windows when you leave the house
Review your home insurance policy to ensure any new valuables are included

If you don’t review your buildings and contents insurance every year, you run a real risk of finding yourself underinsured should you suffer a break-in, flood damage or house fire. It can be a boring process going through every room and working out how much everything would cost to replace, but it is definitely worth it.

#7 Get on Waitlists

2020 will go down as the year of the unkempt. Hairdressers, nail salons, and spas will be extremely busy, so consider giving them a call now to make an appointment or get put on their waitlist. While not all are making appointments, many are taking names to call you and get you scheduled when they are ready to reopen.

You may also want to call other in-person services you use to register your interest. Some gyms are operating on an appointment-only basis for a while, and other activities may work the same way, so get in early.

#8 Wrap Up Those DIY Projects

If you know that your household’s life will go back to normal once everything reopens in June, then now is the perfect time to ensure you finish all those home DIY projects (or call a company to do it for you if you’re ready to admit defeat)! If you used your furlough time to make home improvements, you certainly aren’t alone, but you also don’t want to end up living in an unfinished project. Be honest with yourself – are you really going to want to stay in and finish tiling the bathroom when the pubs reopen? Get those projects finished ASAP!

Hopefully, we will be able to look back on the pandemic as something the world learns from. It has certainly jogged us all out of any complacency we might have felt. Thanks to the government’s tough action and the astounding work of the pharmaceutical industry and our incredible NHS, it looks as though the difficulties in the UK will soon be over.

Getting back into the swing of things won’t take long, so start getting ready now so you can enjoy all the little things we once took for granted.