A sense of relief washed over the country when the roadmap out of lockdown was unveiled last month.
After weeks of uncertainty and speculation, the government’s published exit plan provided some much-needed clarity – and a set of dates on which particular restrictions will be lifted.
All the talk now is about a return to ‘normality’ – but what happens when we get there?
We’ve been social distancing and wearing masks for so long, even the sight of large crowds mingling shoulder-to-shoulder on television can be a briefly unsettling sight.
Returning to our old lives is going to be an adjustment – particularly for young people and children.
According to Dr Michael Barnish, Head of Genetics & Nutrition at REVIV Global Ltd – a worldwide health and wellness organisation with a HQ right here in Manchester – some parents have expressed concerns regarding how their children will adapt.
“Many of my patients have children and their own anxiety is being exacerbated by worrying about their children and how they’re going to cope when they return to normal,” he stated.
“Life has been disrupted for a year now and many people have expressed their worry about being in contact with other people or getting on public transport again but adults can talk about their feelings.
“Children aren’t as well equipped, but they struggle too.”
Dr. Becky Spelman, Psychologist and Clinical Director of Private Therapy Clinic, also believes that younger people could find the shift of surroundings somewhat jarring when the time finally comes to exit lockdown.
Dr Spelman stated: “It’s going to cause anxiety for many of us to return to normal including young people and often younger people are not very good at talking about their emotions – they haven’t learnt how to articulate them just yet.
“You’ll see signs of young people being very quiet and introverted and you might not know what’s wrong. Something to look out for is anxious avoidance: This is when someone is scared or intimidated by a situation and you’ll see a very natural avoidance so that they can keep safe and comfortable in the short term.”
According to Dr Spelman, any children showing signs of anxiety should be “encouraged to confront situations” and “taken out” of these environments if it becomes too much; re-approaching them at a later time.
“If [children] are feeling very anxious encourage them to stay in the situation and reassure them that the anxiety will get better with time,” the doctor stated.
“Also, ask them what they’re feeling, this is a question that parents can forget to ask. But actually, saying what are you feeling?
“Can you describe it? Can you put a label on it? Is it fear, anxiety, sadness? Trying to understand your child’s feelings is important in helping you be able to address it.
“Ultimately, they need confront the situations that are making them feel that way.”
Dr Spelman also emphasised that children will become more confident over time.
“If they have bouts of low mood because they haven’t been as active or engaging in social activities as much during lockdown, they definitely need to become more active and regain a more balanced life,” she stated.
“If it is anxiety then they need to learn to sit with those feelings and not avoid situations. Encourage your child to get doing lots of things and with time they will notice they will become more confident.
“If they really don’t want to [visit] certain places the question you need to ask is do they not want to go because they won’t enjoy it? Or they don’t want to go because they’re feeling uncertain of the situation?
“If it’s the latter you will want to encourage them to go regardless and avoidance here isn’t helpful and you want to encourage your child in overcoming that.”
More information and support for young children and mental health is available on the Young Minds website.
Almost Famous is giving out FREE burgers to Mancs with a very rare birthday next week
Almost Famous is dishing out free burgers in Manchester next week… but it’s only to the people with the rarest birthday of them all.
Leap Day babies, here’s another one for you.
It’s estimated that only around 4.1 million people worldwide were born on 29 February – which, of course, is also known as a Leap Day birthday – and if you just so happen to be one of those unfortunate, or in this case fortunate, people here in Manchester, then you’ll probably want to get yourself down to Almost Famous next week to celebrate.
That’s because the legendary burger joint is commemorating the special day that only comes around every four years by giving away free burger next Thursday.
The catch, however, is that you have to have been born on 29 February to claim the freebie.
Merely days after Manchester’s popular street food hall and social hub, Society, announced that it would be pouring free pints for Leap Day babies on their birthday, now Almost Famous is getting in on the action too by doing what it does best – serving up some of the heartiest burgers in the whole of the city centre.
Rallying up all Leap Day babies on its official social media platforms this morning, Almost Famous wrote: “Calling all Leap Year babies – get a free burger on 29 February with a valid ID proving it’s your birthday. Sometimes the best things only come round every four years.”
Almost Famous’ burgers are known and loved all across the UK, especially here in Manchester, and now, Leap Day babies who’ve missed out on years of celebrating get to reap the birthday benefits.
So-called ‘leapers’ wanting to bag their bargain burger next Thursday will just need to head on down to one of Almost Famous’ two Manchester city centre restaurants – either the Northern Quarter, or the one inside Great Northern Warehouse – and show the staff a valid form of ID that proves they were, in fact, born on that day.
The deal is expected to run all day, from the moment both Almost Famous sites open right until they close, and, as far as we can tell, the free burger offer is redeemable across the whole menu, so there’s a wide choice to pick from.
But don’t forget, like we’ve already mentioned, it’s just for one day only.
So if you want to make the most of it and be sure you don’t miss out, then get yourself down to Almost Famous next Thursday and get scranning.
Featured Image – Almost Famous
Lancashire couple who won £61m EuroMillions jackpot publicly named for first time
A couple from Lancashire who won a whopping £61 million jackpot in the EuroMillions have been publicly named for the first time.
It’s officially Richard and Debbie Nuttall’s lucky day… or we should say lucky life, more like.
The winning couple – who are both 54, from the Lancashire town of Colne, and have been happily married for 30 years – scooped a share of the mega £123 million EuroMillions jackpot in the draw on 30 January earlier this year, and took home a total of £61,708,231.
The Nuttalls were actually on holiday in Fuerteventura celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary when they found out about their life-changing lottery win.
Apparently, the pair mistakenly thought they had only won a measly £2.60, due to some confusion with reading their bank balance, only to find out it was quite the opposite – which led to them being, understandably, “totally stunned”.
“You dream of winning the lottery, but you never think it’s going to be you,” Mr Nuttall told the media at a press conference at Mitton Hall in Whalley, near Clitheroe, yesterday.
Mr Nuttall explained that he was checking his emails while on holiday last year when he found a message from the National Lottery saying he had a £2.60 win in his account, and when he told his wife, she comically responded: “Woo hoo, we can get a bacon butty with that.”
But it turns out, they could actually afford quite a bit more than breakfast.
After receiving the initial message, the couple then went out for the day to explore the stunning Spanish island, before returning to their hotel room only to find another National Lottery message asking them to check the account again.
“I looked and it said ‘you’ve won £61,708,231’, ring this number,” Mr Nuttall admitted, and although he couldn’t quite believe it, the win turned out to be true.
So, what’s next for the Nuttalls then? What are they planning to do with their winnings.
The Lancashire couple who won £61m on the EuroMillions have been publicly named for first time / Credit: Pxhere
Well first, the “dazed” couple have admitted that they have no plans to continue working, with Mrs Nuttall already handing her notice in and Mr Nuttall set to do the same at the end of this tax year, and are already in the process of buying a new house and upsizing to a home that has more room and outdoor space for them and their dog to enjoy.
Mr Nuttall said their lives are going to be “so different” now.
He continued: “We have worked hard all our lives and we are now very much looking forward to taking life a bit easier. But not just that, this win will also change the lives of those closest to us, and hopefully the next generation after that too.”
The Nuttalls also revealed they’ll be making a considerable donation from their winning amount to a charity close to their’s and their family’s hearts – BK’s Heroes, which was set up in their nephew, Ben King’s, memory after he died of a rare condition called Tubular Interstitial Nephritis and Uveitis at the age of 27.
“This charity means so much to our family and we are all involved,” Mr Nuttall concluded.