6 Ways To Readjust To Life After Lockdown
Lockdown restrictions are finally easing and soon enough we will be able to travel again. Although part of me is excited for this new spell of freedom, my introverted self is slightly apprehensive about all these new changes.
So, I thought it would be a good idea to dedicate this blog post to readjusting to life after lockdown so we can continue to protect our well-being.
Everywhere I look there are groups of friends having a drink in the sun outside the pub, a string of happy individuals queuing to get into their favourite clothing shops and smiling couples enjoying their first date night post lockdown.
Life after lockdown was always going to happen. It was inevitable that we would be allowed to meet up with friends and family again and be allowed to go places that weren’t just around the corner.
So why do I still feel so unprepared for this change as though it’s just come out of thin air?
Although I’m excited to get back into the swing of things I am also feeling nervous about socialising again.
The thought of having to hold a conversation with someone is slightly daunting and I find myself regularly looking at the floor rather than holding eye contact with someone.
I can’t help but feel that I am somewhat suffering from mild social anxiety disorder which is completely rational.
Having a range of emotions is completely normal especially when we find ourselves going through a period of transition or find something particularly challenging.
It’s important to not suppress these emotions, and be mindful of them. We need to learn and acknowledge why we feel a certain way by writing down our feelings and nurturing them.
By being able to pinpoint why you feel a certain way you are able to better cope with social anxiety, nerves and fears.
6 ways to readjust to life after lockdown
Over the past week, I have slowly become more comfortable with getting back out into the world. I put this all down to the fact that I have gone at my own pace and didn’t put too much pressure on myself to socialise at first.
When all the pubs and restaurants started to open in the UK for outside dining I held back a bit and didn’t join in on the fun until a good 2 weeks after.
I needed time to ease myself into this “new” but old way of life.
So with more restrictions beginning to lift, I wanted to take a moment to remind you to go at your own pace and that there are “steps you can take to make this transitional process feel less daunting.”
1. maintain a healthy routine
The number 1 thing that really kept me sane throughout lockdown was my daily routine. I spent time adapting it to suit my needs and mood and I won’t be neglecting it any time soon.
It’s so easy to slip back into the routine of heading to the pub with friends every Friday night but if you would prefer to skip this and take an evening to take care of yourself then this is absolutely fine.
Keep strengthening your boundaries and say no when you want to say no.
By all means, adjust your routine to make room for new things you want to do. For example, I have reintroduced a gym workout into my morning routine now that the gyms have reopened.
Just make sure you continue to focus on your needs first and don’t let your healthy daily routine go to shit now that things have started to go back to normal.
2. dedicate time to self-care regularly
Expanding on the above tip, it’s essential that you keep putting your well-being first. Just because we are no longer in lockdown doesn’t mean that it’s not important anymore.
So make sure you continue to treat your mind, body and soul regularly.
Dedicating time to self-care can look different to everyone. For me, it’s spending an evening by myself relaxing in a hot bath with candles, wine and a good book while eating chocolate, before stretching and doing a puzzle in bed while watching Netflix.
Continue to indulge in whatever activity makes you feel happy and well-nourished.
3. start making plans
I know this might seem rather backwards as I’ve just spent the best part of a blog post explaining how I have social anxiety.
But… what has helped me ease back into “normal” life has been to start making plans.
I have a tendency to get comfortable and living a hermit life doesn’t phase me at all. To be perfectly honest I would have happily gone on for another 3–4 months not leaving the house but I know this isn’t healthy and I do have plans to travel again soon.
So if you feel a bit stuck on where to start, then begin making plans. And I don’t just mean heading to a restaurant with a friend for a drink.
Book a weekend away. Go somewhere new. Look at even booking a holiday! You’ll be surprised with how much planning uplifts your mood and helps you to look forward to things again!
4. limit your time on social media
I have mentioned this one before and I will continue to mention it until my dying day!
If the content you follow triggers you, makes you feel angry or upset or as though you are missing out on things then you can choose not to see it again.
Same for any content that doesn’t provide you with value, doesn’t boost you to take action or is simply irrelevant to your life.
I have been slowly unfollowing people for the past couple of weeks now on Instagram and it is incredibly freeing to see my feed rather empty!
No more content overwhelm and no more comparing myself to others.
You can even go a step further by deleting your social media apps or doing a Social Media Detox to become more intentional about the time you spend online.
My detox planner is a great booster to help you get started.
5. be patient with yourself
Don’t put pressure on yourself to socialise, or meet up with a group of friends or even travel if you’re not feeling it.
The more you force yourself to do something you don’t want to do, the more you resist.
Listen to your body and just be patient with yourself.
Go at your own pace and ease in by starting small. Go for a drink with a close friend for an hour or head to the park for a picnic at sunset.
The more time you spend easing into being around people again, the more comfortable you will start to feel.
And don’t be hard on yourself if afterwards you just want to run home and hide under the duvet covers for an hour.
Socialising is draining and takes a lot out of us. It literally now takes me a good 2 days to feel like myself again after spending an afternoon with friends or family.
6. be yourself
In the past year, we have all grown personally on a huge scale. We have gone through a lot and coped with more than we ever expected.
The majority of this growth was done within the 4 walls we call home. Accept it or not we have a different perspective on life and we are all leaving lockdown as different people.
I’m probably a lot weirder than I used to be having spent the past 12 months getting to know myself and just being silly with my partner.
I am also a heck of a lot more confident in knowing what I want from life.
This might be strange for my friends and family to see at first but I am also aware that they too are different.
We all need to be respectful of each other and help each other through this transition.
So don’t be ashamed of this change whether it’s a negative or positive change. Instead, cultivate it and don’t hide the new you.
Continue to be yourself.
Before I go…
If you are suffering from social anxiety as you readjust to life after lockdown, then please know that you are not alone.
Your feelings are completely rational and it’s up to you with how you choose to cope with them.
And if you feel completely fine and are jumping straight into life post lockdown then good on you! I’m happy for you.
Just continue to be mindful of your feelings and respect your friends or loved ones if they struggle at first.
And feel free to share this blog post with anyone that you feel will gain something from it.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx