Bashirat Oladele is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about pop culture, entertainment and politics. Her work has been featured in The Irish Times, Teen Vogue, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and other publications.
This article uses data from nearly 2,000 young people from across the UK. You can read more insights in our full length reports. ‘Time and Time Again‘ is about how young People of Colour see representation in the UK and ‘Take the Temperature‘ is about the impact of Covid-19 on young people.
As we start to see lockdown restrictions ease across England:
Some of us are excited to see our friends and families, some of us are concerned about how quick the restrictions are being lifted and some of us are still just confused. All these responses are valid, it’s been an extremely tough time for young people – with education being disrupted and many even paying thousands of pounds for empty rooms.
With many young people consuming and creating content more than ever throughout the pandemic, whether it’s via TikTok or Instagram, we have been occupied with hilarious trends and challenges. But, soon we will start to come out of lockdown. We will finally be able to go outside, maybe even do some socialising. But as we move out of lockdown: what habits from it will young people keep?
As part of National Youth Trends, Beatfreeks spoke to nearly 2,000 16 – 25s from across the UK about the habits they want to keep after lockdown. From masks, to running, to reading and appreciating the little things – young people are ready to improve and continue to cultivate certain habits once this strange period ends. Responses ranged from ‘thinking about global affairs’ (important in our increasingly globalised world), right the way through to ‘working out daily’ and ‘online shopping’.
An absolute must – with the discourse on social media about how people haven’t felt sick or caught the common cold, young people are in agreement that masks are a necessity post lockdown. I can certainly attest to this. Even though masks were uncomfortable in the beginning, they have definitely helped a lot of people in the long run.
When gyms closed, many were in disarray. Luckily, some of us are able to exercise outdoors to maintain our health. In a pandemic, we have seen how health inequalities have impacted people’s livelihoods – as cliche as it is, ‘health is wealth’, and the pandemic is motivating us to look after our bodies in more ways than one.
When the pandemic hit, many young people expressed their concerns about their mental health. As National Youth Trends ‘Take the Temperature’ report shows: young people are three times more likely than the general population to be more worried about their mental health right now. There are also difficulties of accessing mental health support for many young people. As noted on the NHS website, it highlights that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. Pandemic or not, everyone can benefit from mindfulness as it’s important to be present in the moment and focus on yourself and what you can control.
Waking up early
Despite some of us having difficulty with our sleeping patterns, waking up early really sets the pace for your day! 10/10, would really recommend it. I used to wake up early to study or complete tasks and before 11am, I would finish everything. Easier said than done though!
Retail therapy is my stress relief. Good grades? Finished meal prepping? I reward myself with online shopping. Just shop within your means and be as ethical as you can. Sometimes, you just need to reward yourself in the ways you can and if shopping is your realm, go for it.
Cutting down junk food
With Uber Eats, Deliveroo AND Just Eat at our disposal, it’s difficult to avoid junk food but as always, many young people trying to make good on their lockdown health-kicks. But it’s not always an easy task, so If cutting down junk food is difficult, baby steps: take is slow and be kind to yourself.
Learning a new language
Many people have been learning a new language during lockdown and want to keep going as we move out of it. There are plenty of free apps to help develop a new language. Duolingo for many or if you are more into Clubhouse, the social media platform has ‘The Lingo Lounge’ club that has up 40 language rooms per day.
During the lockdown, I picked up Korean skincare throughout quarantine and it changed my life. In particular, it gave me a sense of normalcy and control throughout the pandemic because of the restrictions. Lots of young people are finding the same – with skincare being a prevalent trend across social’s channels.
Staying at home
Extremely relatable. Some of us are homebodies and that’s okay. Even as lockdown restrictions, not everyone will want to be outside. I, for one, will probably stay indoors for a bit because I would rather watch Korean dramas on Netflix. Lockdown has helped many people realise this.
After such a difficult time, people are tired and want to go out, people want to link up with their friends and go to restaurants – they want to do the things they’ve missed about normal life. However, this doesn’t mean that a few habits from lockdown will stay. As you can see – these focus around some key trends we see across young people: self-care, wellbeing support and skills improvement.
Despite GCSE and A Level exams being cancelled for the second time, some people remain concerned about their predicted grades and futures. They use these newfound habits to ward off the difficult times, and look forward to the better ones.
To get exclusive access to National Youth Trends releases (before they go public) get clued up and sign up to The DL.
You can read more a bout young people’s experiences of lockdown in out full length report Take the Temperature.
This article was written by Bashirat Oladele for Beatfreeks. It draws on data collected by National Youth Trends from 2000 young people across the UK. You can read more about their thoughts, feelings and innovations by clicking here, and having a mooch about.