How To Adjust To Life Post-Covid
I think it is fair to say that returning to normal life post lockdown will be a challenge on many fronts. The anxieties, grief and fear we have been harbouring will no doubt come pouring out stronger in the wake of coming back to ‘normalcy’. What kind of normal that maybe we have yet to find out, but post lockdown life will certainly seem a daunting and, for some, perhaps even a dreaded prospect. There is no one fixed method to use in helping yourself back into your pre-lockdown setting, but the stress and concern of having to adjust back can certainly be managed through several strategies. For some, this may feel like an incredible obstacle to overcome, but do not be discouraged because smoothly navigating uncertainty is possible with a helping hand. Going into this period with a game plan and clear head will hopefully give you peace of mind and help settle you back into life as it once was.
- Talk to someone:
This does seem an obvious point but speaking to those you trust about any worries or concerns, no matter how trivial, can feel like a huge weight off your chest. Having a quiet discussion with a friend or family member can put your fears into perspective and often reduce feelings of loneliness or solitude. Although it may not seem like it, many others might have similar concerns to yours and simply by opening up to someone you may provide for support for them in return. You are not alone, so reach out and get any anxieties off your chest!
- Be proactive with your physical health:
Eating well balanced meals, filled with healthy fats, slow-burning carbs, fibre and protein will boost your body and brain, helping you stay positive and resilient. A healthy mind starts with good nutrition, and low mood can be significantly improved when you are reducing diet-induced inflammation. On the other side of the coin, exercise is also a key part of creating a strong mind and body: anything from walking or yoga to HIT workouts and resistance training will benefit your mental health as much as the physical. Looking after your body is a grounding and confidence building activity which will enable you to tackle the post-lockdown world with greater vigour.
- Take it slow:
Do not expect yourself to adjust quickly and do not compare your experience to others. It is perfectly fine for you to need extra time to get back into routine, so don’t put yourself under pressure unnecessarily. If you are worried about the social side of things, be careful not to overload your calendar and leave space for some time-out. It will initially be a shock to the system when large gatherings and social appointments begin again, so be sure to start small and build up. Reintegrating gradually is far less stressful, so adjust to change gradually and without it being forced.
- Make exciting plans:
Although plunging straight back into the privileges of ‘normal life’ is not ideal for some and will be a demanding change, making plans with loved ones or friends can go some way turning fear into excitement. Forward planning can help relive anxiety by giving a sense of structure and movement in the direction you would like it: plan which restaurants, places or entertainment venues you have missed and would like to visit. Having something to look forward to will take the edge of the post-covid dread and put a positive spin on this upcoming period of change.
Feeling trepidatious is normal, but we hope life post-covid can eventually be something we can all embrace in all its ups and downs, enjoying the return of our freedoms day by day.