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Sides of Home: Together or Apart

The IKEA Life at Home Report 2021 reveals that a whopping 62% of people felt better from a sense of belonging in their neighbourhood.

But not everyone was creating bonds in houses and their immediate environment. Many discovered the benefits of online friendships, used Zoom to stay in touch with family, or found themselves sharing their interests with people on the other side of a screen.

Neighbours And Friends For Life

Abdul, 25, lives with relatives in Camden, London. He manages a local men’s football team.

For me personally, the last 18 months have probably been the hardest of my life. The pandemic has made it difficult for everyone. Firstly, the football stopped. So, we stopped seeing our mates and that was a big block because whenever I was struggling with things in life, I’d have football and that would take everything away, even if for a moment.

We wanted to create a safe space for other people and ourselves. I got my own football community with a few friends. We give training sessions to young people, and we have a men’s team, which I manage. The idea is to unite everyone, and it’s open for everyone.

It’s been quite sad because there’s been a few losses within my apartment building.  Over the last six months, my next door neighbour’s mum passed away because of Covid-19. And then one of our neighbours upstairs too, their mum passed away as well. Also, one of our close friends passed. And then my nan. We all experienced something similar. So, it was nice to be able to speak to each other, be there for each other.

It’s hard to let people in, but when you do, it feels good because you feel like you’ve made yourself vulnerable to someone else. And I’m sure that during the lockdown I’ve created strong bonds with people around me. We’ll be friends for a lifetime. It’s nice to know that they’re not too far. So, if anything ever goes wrong in life or you need to celebrate, you don’t have to drive hours to see them.

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“We wanted to create a safe space for other people and ourselves. I got my own football community with a few friends. We give training sessions to young people, and we have a men’s team, which I manage. The idea is to unite everyone, and it’s open for everyone. “

I Needed Connection To The World

Oscar, 22, lives in Shanghai, China. He is a student at Newcastle University in the UK, but due to the pandemic he has been studying remotely.

I call myself a graduate student of ‘the Zoom University’. Even though I adapted over time, remote studying is difficult. I look forward to my new life in the future when I really arrive in the UK, begin a new chapter, and meet all the people I haven’t met.

During this period, I felt really withdrawn. Sometimes I even worried about becoming too lonely. Yes, the internet helps me stay connected. It is possible to use the internet to make you feel that you are still connected to the world. For example, when everyone is watching a live broadcast, you feel that these people are connected in some way, even though you don’t know who they are. But if it’s gone, I feel broken and that I’ve lost all contact with the outside world.

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My home would often feel like a prison because I wouldn’t see anyone.

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Work, study, entertainment, and rest are completely blurred. In the past I would go to different places to do different things. For example, you may work in the office, study in the library, or have entertainment at home or outside in public places. Now, due to the pandemic, you have to do everything in the same space. In this case, I feel that my body does not know what I am doing.

My home would often feel like a prison because I wouldn’t see anyone. I missed seeing different people even through the window, but what I see now is just a very tall building on the opposite side. Now, no one is even walking on the road and the little green spaces are empty.

To see more stories like this, search IKEA Sides of Home on Youtube.

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The Life at Home Magazine

A Balanced Place

Learn more about the ups and downs of mental wellbeing at home through the stories and experiences of people around the world.

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