Bring back the open-door policy

Yes, yes, don’t jump on your collective soap box… as I write this no-one is being encouraged to go in anyone else’s homes. (Well, one person from outside the household, in a garden, at a two-metre distance, if no-one in the home is in a vulnerable category, or anyone from the visitor’s household either, and no one in either household has displayed any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last two weeks.)

I’m aware that reads like an exaggeration or a joke. It’s mad that it isn’t – that it’s all completely true, that’s the current government advice.

But back to my thoughts on reinstating the open-door policy. I obviously mean within reason, and safely, and all the other small print that seems to come with every possible human interaction at the moment.



But I do mean an open-door policy and I stand by that. When I was growing up anyone could visit for a cup of tea, to talk, to cry, for a hug, just to say hi. Or any one of a million other reasons. It didn’t matter – the reason didn’t matter. There didn’t need to be a reason.

Now, more than ever, I think we all need to get back into this way of thinking. Especially as it’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

I am not aware of having struggled with any mental health issues. But I have had highs and lows like everyone else. I am lucky in that respect. I have friends that have suffered for years in various guises …and some that have unfortunately lost the battle.

But the fact that I am finding lockdown a challenge, and so are many of my friends, speaks volumes. I can’t imagine what those who were struggling beforehand are now facing.

The children are feeling it too – I’ve watched a happy, intelligent and active five-year-old go from top of the class and happy to help anyone, to a sassy small person with a major attitude. Speaking to others with small children this is apparently quite common at the moment – perhaps it’s a lack of social interaction, or inadequate home-schooling that doesn’t compare to proper teaching.

But with the children, my friends, customers and everyone I am encountering at the moment I am trying my utmost to be kind. To understand. Because we all need this from each other at the moment. Well, that and hugs …if they were allowed.

I’m definitely a hug person. I know not everyone is, but I like to think that sometimes a manly hug is what is needed. It doesn’t need to be a long, slightly awkward moment, but rather an ‘I’m here for you’, ‘I understand’ type of thing. I miss them and I don’t think I am alone in that. Here’s to the reinstating of the hug.

Take care of yourself, your body, your mind and the people around you.​

Stay Safe.