With lockdown measures easing and social engagements starting to fill the diary again, some may be struggling with the fear of post-lockdown life, worrying about how they will settle back into the ‘new normal’. If this is you, don’t worry, you’re not alone!
Many of us have used lockdown as a chance to slow down and re-evaluate what things in life are important to us, and some have realised that we’re not quite as extroverted as we once would have believed.
However, this new discovery may have you wondering whether you’re going to suffer from post-lockdown burnout if you quickly go back to having every weekend in the diary filled with social events. This is where our top tips for avoiding this reintegration stress will come in handy. Read on to figure out how to avoid post-lockdown burnout so that you can continue to look after your health and wellbeing while also getting back out there in the world!
Note What You’re Anxious About
The first thing to do to quash the possibility of post-lockdown burnout is to identify what it is you’re most anxious about. It may be that you’re nervous about getting on public transport again or being inside with groups of people, or perhaps you’ve changed your relationship with alcohol and are worried about meeting up with friends with whom you once were the life and soul of the party. Many of us have changed our habits and feelings towards things throughout the pandemic, so it’s understandable that your social interactions may change as a result. Try to pinpoint what it is you are worried about so that you can adjust your socialising to meet your new needs.
Take Pride in JOMO (if you want to)
During lockdown, there was no such thing as FOMO as everyone was under the same quarantine measures and no-one was out partying while you were stuck at home in your PJs. Post-lockdown is another story though. Now that people are starting to socialise again, it’s important to choose quite carefully which social engagements you say yes to and which you, instead, politely decline.
So, if you want to, feel free to take pride in JOMO (the Joy Of Missing Out) and instead only choose events and interactions that soothe your soul or are good for your overall wellbeing. This may be saying yes to a Sunday brunch but no to Friday night drinks, or perhaps suggesting a yoga class and a coffee instead of a mindless (mask-wearing) shopping trip.
You are in control of your health and wellbeing, so try to choose things that boost your energy rather than leaving your feeling drained.
Keep Up The Exercise And Healthy Eating
While many of us started lockdown by indulging in comfort foods and perhaps a few too many weeknight wines, studies seem to show that those of us with additional time during lockdown have started to eat better and exercise more than we did before, particularly women and girls that would have been mostly ‘inactive’ before lockdown.
It’s therefore important to try to keep up these positive habits even as we start to eat out more and get back to the daily commute as exercise and healthy eating are known to be beneficial for our mental health.
Ease Yourself Back In To Work
Transitioning back to working full-time at your place of employment is going to be a big change for everyone whether you have been working from home or have been furloughed for the past few months. It’s therefore important to try to make a plan for your first few weeks and months back in the office, ensuring that measures are in place to help you feel safe and comfortable in the workplace as well as prepping healthy meals and scheduling in ‘me-time’ to help you create positive routines.
Take time out to speak to your line manager if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the transition, and try not to slip back into bad habits like working late or checking your work email while at home.
It’s likely that your stress levels will change as you return to working externally again and it may be useful to write a diary or take daily notes to check-in with your emotions. This may help you pinpoint parts of your day that are causing notable stress or anxiety, which may be things that you can change personally or bring up with your employer.
Using the lessons learned during lockdown reflection may help you to design a life that is more in alignment with your personal values and goals. Daily journaling and gratitude will also help you remain calm and aware of your emotions which will help you become grounded, resilient and generally more positive.
Hopefully these top tips will help you ease back into socialising in a healthy and connected way, leaving you feeling fresh and energised as opposed to frazzled and fragile. Remember, you have every right to say ‘yes’ to activity that lights up your soul and ‘no’ to those that bring you down.
You got this!
Let us know how you’re feeling about the ‘new normal’ and the post-lockdown way of life in the comments below.