Feeling overwhelmed and anxious about going back to “normal' life? You are so far from alone. We’ve all become comfortable in our little iso cocoons. It took a while to adapt to the changes and slow pace of lockdown and now it feels like that first day of school and the blanket is being pulled off the bed!
We are all going to experience coming out of lockdown differently, but one thing that we all have in common is that we will all take some time to adapt to the “new norm.” Here’s a list of things I think will be important to keep at the front of all our minds during this time:
- Pace yourself - you do not have to do everything all at once. Don’t over commit - you'll stretch yourself too thin. There will be a lot of excitement in being able to see friends and family again, but don't book yourself up so much that you have no time for yourself! I know that I was so excited too catch up with my friends this past weekend, but I was also so happy to have my space back all Sunday! I know in my anxiety that I need “me time”, but I also struggle with saying no to people. Just ease back in, and take this opportunity to reset your social life with a balance! It also means you will be a better version of yourself when you're out with your friends & family as well!
- Be understanding - Patience and understanding is going to be key during this time. We’re all going through this in a different way, some people will be ready and rearing to get back to the way it was before, where others may take some time. Remember that there have been many financial and social changes in people’s lives during this time, some people may have been cut back or lost jobs, some may be struggling with housemates, partners, or children, so keep this in mind when making plans. Be flexible about how and when you catch up with friends - the real joy is being with them.
- Bring the positives of Isolation with you - Just because lockdown is ending doesn't mean you have to leave the positives that you discovered behind - fold them into your new routine! Whether that be cooking more, reading more, getting out and walking in nature, practicing gratitude, or a home workout. Try and incorporate these positives in your "normal" daily routine.
- Stay connected - It seems strange, but I felt more connected to my friends and family in lockdown than before. When we’re all living our busy lives we often think “oh I’ll just catch up with that person when I see them” rather than picking up your phone and calling or messaging them when you’re thinking about them. We had the chance to have deeper conversations with friends - we were all going through a similar things. We need to be brave and keep having these conversations and talk about how we're feeling. I will definitely be keeping up these phone calls and my open and honest conversations.
- Remove pressure & expectations - I was a lot kinder on myself during lockdown - and this meant I was much happier and more relaxed than ever! I don’t know about you but I am used to putting a lot of pressure and expectations on myself without sometimes ever realising it! For example, if I have a slow start to a day and I’m not at my desk at my usual time I beat myself up about it, but during lockdown I allowed myself to take life a little slower and didn’t run to such rigid timeframes. I really want to be more accepting of the way my body is feeling and moving - especially in the mornings.
- Rest - Allow yourself time to rest and recharge. Life really slowed down during lockdown which I struggled with at first, but then really loved. It allowed me to rest without feeling guilty, and something I am going to keep up with!. If I’m exhausted one day, instead of pumping myself with coffee I am going to accept that my body needs sleep and I am going to give it what it’s asking for. We all need rest, and trying to keep pushing through just makes it our future selves problem, and a bigger one at that!
I hope you've found some of these points helpful, and remember that we are all in this together! Make sure you look after one another, and most importantly make sure you look after your mental & physical health. Stay safe. xx