Last week, Maya and I recorded a podcast episode under this title, and I was inspired to write a blog post along a similar line. With restrictions gradually lifting and the country opening more and more, I thought it might be helpful to read about other people’s experiences with this.
First and foremost, I’ve noticed there’s a lot of anxiety in the air right now. This return to “normality” has been accompanied by a surge in anxiety – mostly social. After the most part of a 15 months spent in lockdown and with varying degrees of restrictions, this is completely understandable. We are relearning how to be busy, how to socialise with more than our bubble, how to make small talk, how to juggle work, sport, and socialising, and so much more. If you’ve noticed this rise in anxiety in yourself and/ or others, be kind and make more allowances for this.
If you’re anything like me, then you’ll have been tempted to say “yes” to everything suggested to you in the past month. Drinks at the pub, dinner out, a daytrip somewhere, a hike… It’s been months of monotony, so I don’t blame you (or me!). But I will definitely say that there does come a point where it’s a bit too much and you just burn out. Last week I majorly overbooked and ended up exhausted, unable to fully enjoy everything because I was rushing from one thing to the next. It also doesn’t leave much room for spontaneity… so try not to fall into the same trap as me!
It’s better to be safe than sorry
If you’re feeling anxious about a particular social setting because of Covid, I would always recommend erring on the side of caution. Obviously you don’t want to “miss out”, but we’ve come so far and I feel like there’s no point risking our own health when we’re this close to getting the vaccine. Lateral flow tests are also free and available to us, so test regularly for peace of mind 😊
Reach out to others
Lockdown really affected those friendships a couple of circles away from your closest friends. And, leaving lockdown, I’ve found that those people really appreciate a message to check-in with them. What’s more, this opens up the possibility for a meet up – a walk, a coffee date, a picnic… there are plenty of options depending on where you are and what the rules are. The worst that can happen is they ignore/ refuse, and you learn who your friends are.
You can get used to just about anything
Pre-Covid, the thought of wearing a mask everywhere would’ve felt really daunting and alien. But now, I hardly notice I’m wearing one anymore. It just proves how adaptable we are as humans and how we can get used to almost anything. Sitting outside when it’s cold? Sure. Hand sanitiser at every shop? Easy. Check-in with track and trace? Fine. There are so many examples of things we’ve grown accustomed to in the past 15 months!
We still need to make time for self-care
This sort of ties into my previous point about not over-booking, but I think it’s important to emphasise it. Self-care is STILL in. Just because we are all busier now doesn’t mean we should let slide all our good habits gained over lockdown. Keep up the daily walks, the yoga, the baking/ cooking, the reading, the crafting… whatever tickles your pickle and enables you to tune into yourself and take some you time. Essential mental hygiene, as Yoga with Adriene would probably say.
Anyway, that’s it for now! I hope you found this vaguely interesting and I will catch you next week with another blog post.