The Covid-19 situation caused a massive change of life worldwide. In Europe the situation was particularly difficult and we still suffer the consequences at different levels of this pandemic. In HAHA project we want to focus on the learning outcomes that each citizen lived during this difficult time and on the collective learning of this adverse experience.

According to the data collected it’s prominent that the pandemic and its aftermath had a tremendous impact in all countries resulting to unpredictable changes in the lives of people in various forms and aspects…

THE TOLL ON MENTAL HEALTH

The social distancing measures, among all other mitigating policies commonly implemented across participating countries, resulted in mental health struggles in the general population.

 

 

MOST AFFECTED POPULATION DURING THE LOCKDOWN CROSS COUNTRIES

 

Women in particular are proved to have taken a heavier toll during the pandemic for two reasons. On one hand, domestic and care roles had to be renegotiated especially with children staying at home given school closures. Besides this care work burden, cases of domestic violence have also increased during lockdown periods (i.e. a 182.2% increase in Italy, May 2020).

Migrant workers, especially those without work permit, are seasonal and contractual workers, this precarity increases with the uncertainty of unemployment as well as the lack of decent social protection guarantees – especially healthcare and insurances for unemployment. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to highlight the immense role that migrants play in providing essential services to society especially during periods of lockdown, as they account for 14% of key workers across Europe.

Asylum seekers were also exposed to greater precarity as the closure of administrative institutions led to delays in their procedure. Other key groups identified by partner organisations to have been exposed in more difficult situations include the elderly, prisoners, students, health and esential workers and homeless populations.

CHALLENGES

A combination of both remote working and insufficient decent living spaces blurred the boundaries between work and life. Generally, people struggled to maintain social ties and constant contact with their social circles due to mobility restrictions. It has also led to the rupturing of several relationships such as for couples or family members resulting from tension from a sudden shift to being stuck with each other during the lockdown. However, the same situation has brought some people even closer such
The pandemic has also been an obstacle to major life plans or or grasping important opportunities in personal, professional and academic life.

OPPORTUNITIES AND COPING HABITS

Respondents shared that the time they spent stuck indoors allowed them to accomplish things they otherwise would not have the time or energy for. This included rekindling and strengthening relationships, self-reflection and discovery, creating new networks, and learning new skills or improving old ones. It has also brought shifts in their attitudes and or in their personal perspectives.
Most of them developed new habits like :

Cooking

Reading

Practice yoga, meditation

Going for a walk

All these newly-developed activities were mostly reported to have been integrated into everyday life post-lockdown, thus entailing long-term effects and benefits. Specific skills have also been heavily-relied on to go through this tough period and the most common ones include problem-solving skills, creativity, adaptability, patience, and stress management. Respondents also expressed interest in further developing these soft skills in order to be more resilient when faced with eventual difficult situations.

WAY FORWARD

When asked about their future outlook, an overwhelming majority of our participants feel optimistic. The Happy Habits project aims to build on this and the collective lessons learned and experiences lived by each individual, in order to move forward more prepared for the future.
To download the full report click HERE