Four tips on how to cope with life after lockdown
As Ireland is starting to ease restrictions around the country, and ‘normal life’ is looking bright, we understand it can be hard for some to adjust to life after lockdown.
Ireland's lockdown has been extremely long and some people have struggled with many issues and the lack of support or having a daily routine has affected many people in different ways. But for many of us, even these happy changes and re-adjustment can be difficult for our mental health. The end of lockdown may be as hard as the start of lockdown, and being prepared can make it that bit easier. We want to share with you some of our tips to cope with life after lockdown, as we are experiencing this all together.
Taking some time off to relax
As we spent many months at home, working, eating, sleeping in the same place, it can be hard to get used to a routine outside the home. Many people struggled to ‘shut off and take some time to themselves and they felt the constant need to be busy. As you may be returning to the office or going out for meals with friends, it is important to learn to take some time for yourself. Switch off from your old routine of working in the comfort of your bed, and when you return to your old/new daily routine, take some time to yourself, and do things that make you happy. There's no need for the constant feeling of having to be busy, so reconnect with your life and take some time off to just be present in the moment.
Meeting up with friends
From being stuck inside most of the time and maybe not meeting friends for long periods at a time, we understand it may be a struggle to get back out there and catch up with friends. The lost time between friends can cause anxiousness and fear, but it’s important to know that these emotions are totally normal and acknowledging them is the first step. Reach out to a close friend and explain how you're feeling, they are sure to understand or maybe they’re going through it themselves. Everyone has been struggling with something during lockdown, so being there for friends can be valuable to them and you. Catching up with friends and having fun together can be the exact thing you need. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
Minimise your screen time
Avoid endless scrolling on your phone for hours. This usually just ends up in a cycle of comparison, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm, which isn’t a great feeling. When we get caught up in what everyone else is doing and are constantly seeing people having ‘the best time ever’ or on their staycations, it’s easy to forget that it’s not always all sunshine and roses behind the Instagram picture.
Social media pictures have a way of perceiving things to be light and fun, and this is not always the case, as most of the time, we envy these people but they're going through their own struggles. Not everyone posts the hard times on social media. So do yourself a favour and minimise your screen time and focus on you.
Don’t rush the process
So you may feel pressure to get back out there and start feeling better all at once, but it's important to not rush the process. You don’t have to be the first of your friends to plan a trip away, get your hair done as soon as the salon opens or document on social media that you’re having a good time. It’s ok to not rush back into things, you don't have to feel pressure to get back into the swing of your routine before lockdown. Know your limits, no one is putting pressure on you, so don't be so hard on yourself. Life is not a race to get everything done. It’s been a long haul, so just take it day by day.
Every day is a new challenge and a new opportunity to find something that works for you. Be gentle with yourself.
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