Many of us have spent the past year in the comfort of our own homes, establishing a work routine from our bedrooms or living rooms, adapting exercise and diet regimes, and finding alternative ways to communicate with friends and family. This time has created a welcome slow-down for many people, allowing us to reflect on our fast-paced lives and spend more time looking after ourselves. As restrictions gradually ease and more freedoms are granted, it may lead you to feel conflicting emotions, so to help during this confusing time, I have provided my top tips to step back into normality, including:
Go at your own pace
Although friends and family may be excited for their COVID bubbles to burst as measures loosen, it is normal if you feel overwhelmed and anxious at the thought of slowly returning back to your hectic pre-COVID life.
MY TOP TIP: Try to take each step at a time – you don’t have to jump straight back into your old routine. If going on a walk is enough for one day, stick with it, but try to build on this every day. Perhaps meet up with a friend or grab a coffee from the local shop – stepping out of your comfort zone, gradually and responsibly, can help re-establish a routine that works for you.
Take time for yourself
As we adjust to yet another big change, it’s more important than ever to look after ourselves and take note of how we are feeling. You may think you have taken too much time for yourself over the last year, however, as life picks up its pace again, it is likely you will crave more me-time, so be conscious to allow yourself these moments.
MY TOP TIP: Think about an activity that is just for you – for example, reading a book before bed, taking a bath, or watching a movie. Practising mindfulness by taking 5 minutes every day to focus on your breath is an exercise that can help you feel relaxed, ease anxiety and enable you to focus on the present, giving yourself the time that you need.
Get enough sleep
You will probably find your sleeping pattern change as our day-to-day activities get busier. Going back to work, doing more exercise and socialising will have a bigger impact on our energy levels than we might think, so getting enough rest is key.
MY TOP TIP: Try to stick to a regular sleeping routine, going to sleep and waking up at a similar time each day, and aim for at least eight hours sleep a night. If you struggle to get some shut eye, reduce screen time, avoid caffeine before bed and exercise regularly.
Put your health first by having regular check-ups
Your health may have taken a backseat during the pandemic, and you may not have had your regular health checks, such as going to the dentist or getting your eyesight and hearing tested. However, it is important to take the initiative and book these appointments so that you can fully enjoy life’s magical moments post-lockdown.
MY TOP TIP: As restrictions ease and summer comes along, you want to be able to absorb your senses to feel connected to the world around you once more – including hearing the birds outside, people watching in the bustling streets, and ordering that long awaited drink at your local pub. Prioritise your hearing health by booking a free hearing test at your local Hidden Hearing centre.