How should we take care of ourselves as we recover from the pandemic?
As we cautiously emerge from a series of national lockdowns, many are feeling stress and anxiety at the prospect of returning to “normal”. After the rapid change brought about by the pandemic, people’s lives were turned upside down. It is natural to feel some apprehension about how we are going to manage life post-Covid, so do not feel alone. There are a number of different steps that you can take to help ease any worries you have:
Create a distinction between work life and home life
Many people will still find themselves working from home. Try and create a distinction between your work and home life. Create a certain space within your home that you can dedicate to work and work only. Do your best to avoid things like working on your bed, on your sofa, or in any other place where you would usually relax. Some places should be kept separate from work, so you have somewhere that is prioritised for winding down after a long day, or for self-care. Doing this ensures that you have physical and mental space to recover after work and space where you focus on your wellbeing.
Look after your physical health
Your physical health inevitably has a large impact on your overall wellbeing. As we start managing the relaxing of measures post-Covid, many will find themselves mentally stressed as a result of the dramatic social change. Exercise is a brilliant way to relieve some of these stresses whilst simultaneously looking after your body. You should also try and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Both of these can also improve your body’s ability to fight infection and illness, which is particularly important as we emerge from restrictions. It is also vital that you get quality sleep. Try to switch off electronic devices at least an hour before you go to bed and establish a regular sleep routine.
Do things that you enjoy
If you are struggling with Covid anxiety or everything opening once again, try to focus on doing things that you enjoy. For example, you could take a walk, have some friends over in the garden to play board games, or now that swimming pools are open, you can even go for a swim. Doing something that you enjoy will not only boost your energy, concentrating on something that you are good at can also help to boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Take a social media break
Social media can make us feel as though we are too far behind getting back to normal. You cannot compare your own journey to others – some may feel confident enough to return to drinking in pubs indoors, eating out with friends, or going on public transport, but it is ok if you do not. We need to allow ourselves the time to adjust. One of the key functions of social media is to incite competition with likes, followers, and views. Taking a detox break from this can help you to regain focus and self-confidence. Taking a break from your phone screens overall – particularly before you go to bed – can also help you to relax more.
Focus on the present
Methods such as guided meditation can help you to bring your mind back to the present and achieve a greater level of mental clarity. If you are feeling anxious, guided meditation can also help in the management of these anxieties. Simple activities such as sitting in a chair and watching your thoughts, imagining your worries coming and going (almost like busses at a bus stop), can help you to achieve a better sense of being present.
Overall, your wellness now is more important than ever. Collectively we are all recovering from a global pandemic that has had an extensive impact on many of our lives. Emerging from the other side of Covid is not going to be easy, but through looking after your physical and mental health, you can better cope with these changes.