September 23, 2021
With the sun making a welcome appearance (hi, Spring!) and lockdown restrictions starting to lift, it finally feels like some real change - for the first time in over a year - is just around the corner.
But for many of us, the months spent cooped up at home have taken their toll; the infamous ‘lockdown fatigue’ has well and truly kicked in. And while towns and cities across the UK will be opening back up soon, the pandemic is still far from over: with ongoing travel bans and uncertainty over what the summer will look like, life isn’t yet back to normal.
Adjusting to the new ‘new normal’
It’s a strange time: on the one hand, we’re dying to see our friends and family; on the other, we may have some anxieties about socialising again (and not only in terms of the virus - we’re all feeling a little out of practice!). We’re desperate to go on holiday, but also know that staying at home is the more cautious thing to do.
If you’re feeling a little burnt out, you’re far from alone. The good news is that there are a number of things we can all do to lighten the burden of this transition phase and prepare for a new beginning.
If you’ve been thinking about reorganizing your living room for months but still haven’t got around to it, now is the time. We’re all tired of staring at the same four walls, but switching things around is a really simple yet effective way of shaking things up. Rearrange your furniture, paint a wall a new colour, hang some new art up or add photos of loved ones around your home.
Research shows that constantly having long to-do lists or unfinished projects can lead to more stress and anxiety in our daily lives, so get the ball rolling with this enjoyable task. Decluttering can help clear the mind and act as a form of mindfulness by focusing on your everyday surroundings.
This will leave you with a sense of achievement and an energy boost, and is also a symbolic way of marking a fresh start.
You may feel that you haven’t had the most ‘productive’ lockdown, but as we still have months before things truly get busy again, why not use the time to learn something new? If you feel your mood has lifted now the warmer months are here, now may be a better time than ever.
The possibilities are endless: learn a new language on Duolingo, take advantage of online tutorials to learn a musical instrument, or sign up for an online course on a topic you’ve long been interested in.
Developing a new set of skills isn’t only enjoyable - it can open new doors to personal or professional growth. Pre-COVID, so many of us led such hectic lives that we didn’t have the time to ask ourselves what we really wanted to be doing. If there’s one thing we should take from lockdown, it’s that carving out more time for ourselves is important for both mental health and self-improvement.
As life starts to feel more unstructured, it can be harder to use our time in the best way possible. Many of us have slipped into unhealthy habits, barely moving from in front of our laptops or TVs. This is why it’s more important than ever to stick to consistent healthy habits. We’re designed to be creatures of habit: having a routine has been shown to lower stress and improve sleep.
If lockdown has thrown you off sync, it’s never too late to start introducing a little structure into your life by sticking to the same times each day for eating, waking up and going to bed.
On the other hand, if you’ve been sticking to the same routine through lockdown, now’s the time to add something new to the mix. It could be as simple as a morning run, a weekly stroll around your local park with a friend or family member, or an allotted time devoted to your new hobby.
These little things can make a huge difference when it comes to your overall well-being, and will help you navigate the transition back to normal life.
One side effect of lockdown that many of us are now struggling with is a decline in physical health from months of barely moving - and we all know how closely tied physical and mental health is.
As the weather improves and restrictions ease, going for a 30-minute run can help burn calories, strengthen muscles and improve cardiovascular fitness.
If you’ve developed varicose veins over the course of the past year, though, it’s important to ensure that the exercise you do isn’t worsening the situation. Heavy lifting or high-intensity interval training may not be a good idea, but gentle outdoor activities can help improve circulation. On a nice day, why not try yoga in your garden or a quiet corner of your local park?
Lockdown has left many of us feeling lonely and isolated. One strange thing about feeling this way is that it can also be hard to readjust to seeing loved ones after months of being alone or in a restricted bubble. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel and share your thoughts with a close friend or family member - they may be able to reassure you that you’re not alone in feeling this way.
Over the coming weeks and months, ease yourself slowly back into seeing friends and family with occasional low-key social interactions. That way, by the time larger gatherings are possible again you won’t get too overwhelmed!
We all want to emerge from lockdown looking our best- which may be far from how we’re feeling right now. Luckily, hairdressers and beauty salons will be reopening as from 12th April!
You’ll also be able to book in more advanced treatments you may have been considering. If you’re thinking about a cosmetic procedure like botox or fillers, getting it done now will mean you’ll be looking your best by the time everything opens back up.
If you have varicose veins, now’s the time to seek treatment, as your legs will be fully recovered by early summer. You’ll not only feel more confident, but you may be saving yourself from more serious complications down the line - so if you’re concerned about varicose veins, getting them removed as soon as possible is always best.
We hope that these tips will help you to stay positive, connected and prepared for the months ahead!