When the excitement has settled and the first plans are set and in the diary, in the midst of all the exhilaration you might feel a slight pang of ‘oh, this feel’s a bit weird’. And we’re here to tell you that’s perfectly normal. Some of you might be thinking, well we’ve been here a couple of times before, what’s different this time? It feels for a lot of people like we have a more permanent solution, with the vaccine rollout and other parts of the world successfully trailing large scale events, there is cause for tentative hope that this might just be it.
So, we’ve done lots of researching and have put together some helpful tips on how to make our way back to a more normal life, and adjust to life outside of lockdown.
1. Make a list of habits you formed during lockdown you want to stick to.
Lockdown as tough as it was on many levels, afforded many of us the luxury of time. Time to think, reassess, and build new habits and hobbies. Hopefully in the last year, you have adopted some things from the slower pace of life that you will want to take forward with you as we try to find a new normal. Whether that be weekly self care ritual, making time for your favourite podcasts on your commute or sticking to those home workouts. Whatever it was that got you through the tough times, chances are those are the things that expanded your mind and gave you much needed routine and clarity. Keep those habits close, they’ll help you through whatever new challenges may come your way.
2. Put your mental health first, be kind to yourself!
There has been more focus than ever before on our health this past year, the realities of Covid and the impact on our bodies meant we were unable to ignore the importance of looking after ourselves. Our mental health has been equally brought into sharp focus, both as a side-effect of the pandemic and of lockdown. Our physical health means nothing without mental health and both need equal amounts of care. Make sure to invest in whatever you need to regularly check in on yourself the way you would your family and friends. Online or remote therapy is more popular than ever, more affordable and in the comfort of your own home. Let’s normalise therapy and asking for help once and for all.
3. Pace yourself, build tolerance
The pace at which we begin to socialise, see our friends and go back into some semblance of a routine will be determined by many factors that are individual to all of us. But the biggest will be a gradual return to normality. This is helped in part by the easing of lockdown and the various stages, but a big part of this will be how quickly we decide to fill up our diaries again. Don’t be tempted to say yes to everything if you don’t want to!
4. Express those feelings.
If there’s one single thing we can do to make life easier, it’s having an outlet for our emotions. Journaling is a great way to check in with yourself every day, try keeping a habit checker and a mood tracker to assess and track changes from day to day. Having someone to talk to when things feel overwhelming is the single most helpful tool we could have in our arsenal. Communication is going to be key in our recovery, both with ourselves, and others.