The Sunday Telegraph - Stella

How lockdown changed our lives

… for the better. The past year has given many of us the resolve to rethink old habits and truly transform our way of being. Sophie Goddard meets three inspiring women who have done just that 29, university communicat­ions officer

- Portrait THOM ATKINSON Laura Mathias

Three women share their experience­s of the past year

THE LAST YEAR has forced unwelcome restrictio­ns and change upon us all, but for some there have been unexpected positive outcomes too. Almost a third of adults in the UK are planning big life changes following the pandemic, according to research by the Office for National Statistics.

Delve deeper and it’s not surprising. Lockdown has ‘given the majority of us time to develop a greater sense of self-awareness, which for many includes recognisin­g a need for major changes in our lives’, says behavioura­l psychologi­st Jo Hemmings.

‘Very often, we need the shock of something different and new to take us out of that automatic drive,’ adds Lucinda Gordon Lennox, a trauma therapist. She points out that the pandemic has created loss for everyone – from the death of a person to the loss of a lifestyle, work, security or purpose. ‘Because the notion of death has been made more present, many are asking whether they want to make even more of the time that they have.’

Here, three women share the life-changing decisions they made during lockdown – and the habits and routines they gave up for good.

I was 12 when my hairdresse­r found my first bald patch. At first I tried to disguise it, twisting my dark-brown, shoulder-length hair into different styles, but within a year, it was so thin, I couldn’t hide it. I stopped going to school, scared of what my classmates would say.Iwasdiagno­sedwithalo­peciaunive­rsalis,

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