It’s safe to say that after the events of 2020, we all had high hopes for 2021. A new beginning, a fresh start, a chance to put the turmoil and uncertainty behind us… but it didn’t really pan out like that in the end, did it? Nonetheless, despite the rocky start to 2021, things are staring to look a little brighter as the nation prepares to ease restrictions once more as part of our journey to ‘normalcy’. We know that it’s still a pretty strange time for us all, so we thought we’d put together some thoughts on easing our way into it all with a gentle mindset and focus on emotional wellbeing too. Here are three little tips for self-care as the world re-opens. Do let us know in the comments what you’d add too.
Take your time…
… and know that it’s ok not to jump straight back in to socialising. Let’s face it, we haven’t really been out much during the last 18 months, and for some of us the thought of suddenly being able to go out, see friends and even- gasp!- hug people, can be quite daunting. If you’re starting to feel anxious or unsure, that’s ok. Practising self-compassion is vital for our mental health at the best of times, and especially as we ease out of lockdown following a global pandemic. If the thought of larger groups of people doesn’t fill you with joy right now, then so be it. Don’t feel like you need to say yes to social gatherings just because you’re allowed-and don’t feel guilty for how you feel either. It’s ok to take your time and to ease into things as your own pace.
Your feelings right now are 100% valid- and after all, there is no rule book on how you ‘should’ be behaving right now. Maintain communication with friends and loved ones in other ways until you feel ready. FaceTime, texting, emailing and calling are still valid ways to stay in touch!
Looking after your physical health can do wonders for your mental health too, and staying active is one of the best forms of self-care. Now that more group exercise classes are permitted to return, and the weather should be improving, make the most of the chance to get out there and get moving. Go for longer dog walks, ride a bike, go for a run… exercise gets the endorphins flowing and boosts mood too.
Take a break from the news
We don’t advocate for burying your head in the sand, but we are passionate about encouraging you to set limits on the amount of ‘doom-scrolling’ you take part in. We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic, and there’s just no getting away from that- but that doesn’t mean we need to immerse ourselves in it 24/7. Practising self-care is all about knowing our own limits, what pushes our own buttons and what we need to do protect our emotional wellbeing. So if the news is getting to you, then gently switch it off and choose an activity that makes you happy instead.
If you developed new hobbies during lockdown, now’s the time to keep them up and really hone those new skills. Get outside, bake a cake, walk the dog- anything but obsess over the news and everything that it ‘wrong’ in the world. Avoiding the news for as long as it takes to restores calm in your mind can honestly do you the world of good.