24 Things We Already Miss About Lockdown

family playing board games


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family playing board games

Fare-Thee-Well, Lockdown

Lockdown — or at least the strict version of it that we've all grown used to over the last few months — seems to be coming to an end. For some, it was an awful experience that they're glad to put behind them. But for probably just as many of us if not more, it wasn't all bad. In fact, some of us grew to appreciate the changes it brought to our lives so much that we're not ready to entirely release our grasp on them. Here are some things we'll miss.  (And here are some Places Americans Will Avoid Even After They Reopen.) 

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pile of laundry

Having a Good Reason to Let Things Slide

During lockdown, the laundry was piling up and the floors hadn't been mopped in weeks. Our roots were showing, and then showing some more. Our brows looked like two caterpillars fighting for territory. Our kids wore the same pair of pants for a week. But who cared? It's not like anyone was coming over, and we weren't going anywhere.

Related: 25 Things That Can Wait Until the Coronavirus Lockdown Is Over

work from home man

Working From Home

There are a lot of reasons to miss working from home — many of which we'll get into in this list in more detail — but generally speaking, working from home just felt less like work sometimes, even if we were working just as hard or getting more done than we usually do in the office.

Related: How Working From Home Long-Term Will Save You Money

coloring with kids

Seeing More of Our Kids

Going to the office and going to school quickly become no-nos, and so we were all home together — moms, dads, kids, extended family members. And while that certainly had its not-so-ideal moments, many of us learned a lot about our kids and learned to appreciate them more by spending extra time with them.

Board Games
Diane Labombarbe/istockphoto

Playing Board Games

Some of that quality time we spent with our kiddos was done over rousing games of Monopoly, Pictionary, and the like. No screens. No extra people. Just good old-fashioned family time filled with lots and lots of laughter (and a fair degree of smack talk).

Related: 22 Things You Didn't Know About Your Favorite Board Games

Irina Vodneva/istockphoto

Time and Space to Pursue Hobbies

Pre-2020, you might have thought about taking up embroidery, origami, or some other crafty hobby dozens of times, but life just never seemed chill enough to do more than think about it. And then lockdown happened, and not only did you embroider, but you baked, read, binged shows, and did 10 more things that like you probably didn't think you had time for before.

Cooking and Food Preparation

Learning New Recipes

When going out to restaurants wasn't an option, many of us decided to pour some of our extra time, energy, and money into new culinary efforts. Many a loaf of bread (or dessert, or casserole, etc.) was perfected between the months of March and May and, while our waistlines might not miss those efforts, our taste buds surely will.

Related: Cook Like a Chef: 10 Easy Tricks for Creating Gourmet Dishes 

Drive-In Movie Theater

Rediscovering Things We Hadn't Thought About in Years

During lockdown, did you find yourself making plans to attend a drive-in movie? Or order your dinner from a carhop? Did the idea of a picnic to break up a Sunday drive ever enter your consciousness? It seemed a lot like nostalgia reared its head during the lockdown, and we'll miss some of those simple pleasures.

family cooking

Homemade Meals

Now that many of us are back in the office, we'll be pulling out those takeout menus again more and more. It's great to support local restaurants, but there's something about a homemade meal that's both comforting and satisfying. We'll still no doubt cook them, but not nearly as often, we're guessing. 

dinner as a family

Dinner as a Family

When commutes disappeared and after-school homework became not such a huge deal, many of us began sitting down to family meals more and more, even developing traditions and engaging in conversations around those times that didn't happen nearly as often just a few weeks back.

Related: 100 Cheap & Easy Dinners

working from home with pets

Having Pets as Coworkers

This one's a no-brainer. Seems like we all found out that dogs, cats, and other furry creatures make the best co-workers. They don't hog the coffee, they don't criticize your work, and they certainly don't engage in office politics. They're just really glad you're home, even if you are chained to that desk all day. They'll just chain themselves to your feet, thank you very much.

Related: 47 Adorable Photos of Pets 'Working From Home' 

Digest with a Walk

Taking Regular Vitamin D Breaks

Working from home allows for breaks that you might not take if, say, you work in an office building. We'll miss those 10-minute breaks to check out the garden's progress and pull a few weeds, or those after-lunch walks around the neighborhood with your favorite new (furry) co-worker.

Related: Inexpensive Ways to Get More Vitamin D

work from home in sweats

Sweatpants (aka Having a Good Reason to Look Unkempt)

Was there anything better than not getting dressed up for work? Wait … strike that. Was there anything better than not even thinking about what you were wearing to work, much less what your hair looked like? You could roll out of bed and over to your laptop in your pajamas if you wanted to and — short of a video call — no one would know. We're already lamenting all the buttons and brushing and general planning that comes with lockdown ending and returning to the office.

Related: Pajamas, Sweats, and Leisure Wear Perfect for Working at Home

less laundry

Less Laundry

Speaking of work wardrobes, if you changed clothes on the daily while in lockdown, we have one question: Why? With nowhere to go and no one coming over, many of us happily settled into a pattern of loungewear that got changed every couple of days (and maybe even less frequently in the case of certain kids). The laundry piles dwindled, and we happily accepted that aspect of lockdown while smelling just a little less fresh.

Related: How to Go as Long as Possible Before Doing Laundry

Los Angeles Freeway

Less Traffic

If you've been out recently and saw a backup of cars on roads where that didn't happen just a couple of weeks ago, did your heart sink? Were you not ready to accept the fact that traffic will become a daily part of your existence again? We're with you.

Anxiety Disorders

Less Worry and Anxiety

Listen, parts of lockdown were awful, and some of us adjusted better to it than others, but staying home erased a certain degree of worry and anxiety that came with being out in public in a pandemic. And, while lockdown might be over, the pandemic certainly isn't — which just means that if we're venturing out again, we're all experiencing some stress that comes with the lockdown-lifted territory. 

Related: Feeling Anxious About COVID-19? Try This Calming Yoga Sequence

Have Alone Time

Nurturing Our Inner Introvert

Even if you weren't an introvert before lockdown started, chances are good that you got pretty okay with being alone over the course of time. There's a certain calm that comes with being comfortable inside your own head. You might be relieved and excited to see people again, but are you missing that alone time just a bit?

SDI Productions/istockphoto

Having a Good Excuse to Avoid People

An entire message T-shirt industry has been devoted to coming up with reasons not to go out in public — does "Sorry I'm late. I didn't want to come" ring a bell? Lockdown gave many of us a wonderful period of time where nothing was socially expected of us. We're okay with trading in a public health crisis for having to make up excuses to stay home again, but not gonna lie — we'll miss that easy justification.

save money

Saving Money

Not going out to restaurants and bars. Not getting a haircut every six weeks or booking those monthly massages. Not spending a small fortune at the theater. We're all for a thriving economy, but it did feel nice to be frugal for a few weeks, that's for sure.

Related: How Much Household Spending Has Dropped During the Pandemic

Screen Time Charts

Feeling Okay About Extended Screen Time

If you were in quarantine with kids, chances are pretty good you sacrificed a few of your previously strict rules about how much screen time was allowed and when. With life returning to normal, it won't feel as necessary to allow loads of screen time. It might be for the best, but it doesn't mean you won't miss having to worry less about their brains atrophying.

Stop Impulse Buying

Impulse Buying

Raise your hand if you bought something entirely unnecessary with little thought during quarantine, thinking it would make staying home and not seeing friends and family feel just a little easier? Sure, maybe you didn't need a standalone coffee frother (or a trampoline, or a Bartesian, etc.) but it did spark a certain amount of joy, right?

Related: 50 Guilty-Pleasure Purchases to Treat Yourself Right Now

package on doorstep

Opening Those Impulse Buys the Moment They Arrive

We've all probably seen more of our mail delivery peeps and UPS/FedEx drivers than ever before. If you were very lucky, you had a furry coworker who — rather loudly and obnoxiously — alerted you to each delivery with lots of barking. Working from home could be a slog, but taking a break to open that package containing your new pair of sweatpants? Heaven.

wild turkeys
Larry Crain/istockphoto

Wildlife Reclaiming Space Stories

One of the best things to come out of humans staying inside was wildlife venturing out more. Wild turkeys strutting through the streets of Boston like they own the place. Mountain goats meandering into a coastal Welsh town for a bite to eat. Those stories were delightful, and we'll miss them. 

read with kids

Feeling More Like a Human Than a Machine

In most tragedies, there is usually a glimmer of a silver lining. We learn something about ourselves that makes us stronger, or we're brought closer to the ones we love. With the lockdown, there was something about staying home with our families that slowed life down and disrupted our routines just enough to make us feel human again. Here's to keeping that feeling alive as long as we're able.

Stay Safe Healthcare Workers
Cindy Ord/Getty

Feeling More Like Humans Who Are In This Together

We're not going to naively pretend that the divide that existed in this country back in February has been healed. Not only has it not, but some divides that are long overdue to be addressed have resurfaced. But, there was a feeling — much like existed after other national crises — that we were in this together and had each other's backs. Some of us howled together at night. Others listened to town halls together, eager for good news for our neighbors. Many of us gladly wore masks in an effort to protect those around us. As the world returns to normal, we're sincerely hoping this is one aspect to life-as-usual that we don't release our grasp on anytime soon.