How to get back into a routine post-lockdown
I’ve noticed a theme amongst some of my clients over the past couple of weeks and it generally seems to be linked to feelings of uncertainty about the future, anxiety surrounding their jobs and job security, feeling down about their weight gain, mounting pressure and stress and overall feeling demotivated. Many of us will have enjoyed a slower pace of life during the lockdown and will want to hold on to as many of those moments as possible. But this hasn’t been the case for everyone, and for some it’s been an incredibly testing few months. We’re still in the early days of post-lockdown return to ‘normal’’ and so I thought I would put together some tips for those who might need a little bit of encouragement and positivity to help support their mental wellbeing and keep us all calm and happy.
Pen, paper, plan your day! Think about what you are going to do that day and jot it down so you can visualise it.
Routine — maintain one, as much as possible. Don’t blur the boundaries between day and night; your work and down time — create clear distinctions. Maintaining some semblance of a routine for a lot of us gives us a sense of purpose, it can hold us accountable and help motivate us.
Exercise is a fantastic tool for optimising our mental wellbeing. It can lift our mood, boost confidence and improve self esteem, our concentration and even our sleep.
Prioritise tasks for the day ahead. Don’t be overly ambitious with the tasks you set yourself only to set yourself up for failure and disappointment. What do you absolutely have to get done today?
Avoid being pulled into constant news alerts and social media notifications that are likely to exacerbate any anxiety or uncertainty you are feeling and distract you from what you ought to be doing. Turn off social media and news notifications especially if you find these make you feel anything other than calm and happy.
Remain connected with friends, family and work colleagues particularly if you live alone. Pencil in time to reconnect; go out for lunches with friends or make the most of socially-distanced walks, picnics or garden meets with a friend or within your social bubble.
Eat well and stay hydrated. Make sure you are taking regular breaks, eating a balanced, colourful diet. Keep an eye on your caffeine intake particularly as you edge into the afternoon/evening when this may well get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
Above all, make time for some valuable ‘me time’ to really think whether you are making choices for yourself that are founded on self love and appreciation or are they founded in self survival and preservation? Try not to wallow in self-pity and instead create more approach goals for feel-good productivity. ‘Approach goals’ — aiming for something positive rather than steering clear of something negative — make us feel better and are more effective at ushering us to actual goal achievement.
I’ll leave you with the great quote from Martin Luther King Jr:
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
Look after yourselves — you only have one life so make sure you take care of it.