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The Power of Laughter in Lockdown

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Maya Angelou

The past few weeks have been a bit up and down for me.  Despite being busy with work and family, the monotony of lockdown takes its toll after a while and by the middle of May I felt a bit gloomy. I'd signed up to a Perthshire Businesswomen's Network online event which was taking place that afternoon and I was tempted to duck out of it. However, I'm not one for cancelling things so I went ahead and joined the video call.

I was so glad I took part. An hour with a group of focused, funny, feisty women worked absolute wonders. We empathised, we sympathised and we gave each other ideas about how to work through these crazy times. But most importantly, we laughed. About the state of our hair (my thanks to Tina of The Little Hair Company for the fringe-trimming tips); the state of our lockdown wardrobes (Adele and Marlene of Integro image consultants, I was listening); and the state of our homes (with a pooch at home all day, I am mighty tempted to engage the services of Lucy, The Dog Poo Fairy!). The conversation always came back to our various businesses, but the call did not feel like work, not one bit. 

I began that virtual meeting mentally geeing myself up to show a happy face even when I was feeling pretty down. When I clicked that little red button to end the call, however, I felt entirely different. Positive, invigorated and ready to take on the world. 

I remembered that feeling when the next day I picked up a call from Anne, a business contact of my husband's. Anne was sadly widowed last year and is currently locked down alone with her dog. Normally I'd exchange a few pleasantries and transfer the call to my husband. This time, I chose to sit down and have a good old natter. And we laughed. Both being mums to crazy dogs gave us lots to chat about and plenty to tickle our funny bones. When we ended the call I am convinced Anne left feeling as I had after my PBN session the day before: brighter, lighter and a whole lot more positive.

The quote from Maya Angelou is one of my favourites, and it is more relevant now than ever. Lockdown can be a real mental health challenge and if we can take the time to chat, to raise a smile or a laugh, our friends and contacts will remember how we made them feel long after the call has ended. The Malting House's Debbie Hutchison has recently been appointed President of Perthshire Businesswomen's Network - you can read about Debbie's journey to the role on her recent blog post.


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