After months of lockdown, restrictions are easing. This means that many people are returning to work and social activities, although in modified forms.
For some, this is a huge relief, and they are thrilled by the prospect of returning to “normal” life. However, for others, this is actually a very scary time, and the idea of leaving the safety of lockdown to see people again brings with it anxiety and stress.
Back to reality
As people start heading back to “normal” life, many are finding that the world outside their homes does not seem so friendly anymore. Although lockdown was undoubtedly a difficult time, many people also found the silver lining in this situation.
You may have found that you had more time to spend by yourself or with your family, that you were able to pursue new passions, or that you simply were able to slow down and take a break from the constant pressure of the rat race.
If you are returning to the office after weeks or months of working from home, you are probably feeling a lack of motivation. Working from home may have allowed you freedom and flexibility, which will now disappear once more. You’ll also need to spend more time commuting, taking time away from other things that you want to do.
The reality is that your post-lockdown life will likely involve having less time to yourself as you need to put time into work, commuting, or other outside activities. During lockdown, you had the freedom to largely do what you wanted, when you wanted.
But, in the post-lockdown phase, you’ll find old expectations returning and the pressure to do certain things because they are expected of you.
It is important to remember that even as lockdown is ending, things won’t be back to normal for some time. Many are viewing the post-lockdown period as a return to reality. But, the truth is that the world is now very different to the one we lived in before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though many people are returning to their workplaces and certain outside activities are allowed, a number of restrictions are still in place. Additionally, the coronavirus remains in circulation, and we all need to continue to be careful not to spread infection.
In this context, it is essential to stay positive. This is the time to think about the benefits and advantages of this post-lockdown phase. Identify the things that you are now able to do that were not possible during lockdown and make an effort to do these things. In this way, you will be able to practise gratitude for this new phase of your life.
You can also take the opportunity to continue the new habits and activities you enjoyed during lockdown. Whether you discovered a new hobby or simply uncovered the joy of shaking off the expectations of others and spending time by yourself, there is no reason to give these things up. You can carry them forward and continue these activities even as “normal” life returns.
5 things to make your day better and happier
As you navigate these challenging and anxious times, there are some simple things you can do to improve your mental health. Even small acts can make your day better and help to build better emotional wellbeing.
Here are five things you can do to make your day happier:
1. Create a routine. A regular daily routine is highly beneficial to our mental health at any time, but it is particularly important during times of change and uncertainty.
2. Find a new passion. Starting a new hobby, be it learning a musical instrument, painting, cooking, or something else, can also be a great way to improve your emotional wellbeing by giving you a sense of purpose and achievement.
3. Exercise. Numerous scientific studies have confirmed a link between physical activity and mental health. Integrating exercise into your daily routine, such as walking, cycling, yoga or following a dance video, is guaranteed to lift your mood.
4. Meditate. Meditation is another activity that has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Even meditating for five or ten minutes a day helps to calm the nerves, tackle anxiety, and boost concentration and focus.
5. Talk to a professional. We are living in unprecedented times, and this is taking its toll on many people. Talking to a counsellor or other mental health professional allows you to work through your feelings and build resilience.
As we move into the post-lockdown phase, it is important to remember that this can be a difficult transition for many. It is critical to look after our mental wellbeing at this time as we are facing new challenges and things are unlikely to return to normal for some time.
We should keep in mind that COVID-19 is by no means eliminated, and increased movement out of the home could put you at risk of infection. This means that it is more important than ever to maintain preventative measures such as practising social distancing, good respiratory hygiene, and regularly washing or sanitising your hands. Come get your HERE.