The ongoing global pandemic has forced a lot of us to pause, and spend countless hours and days at home, alone and possibly without physical contact.
As many states around Australia are easing restrictions, this is a good opportunity to think about rediscovering yourself and what your personal values and interests will be post-COVID.
Below are some steps to maintain your wellbeing, whilst also discovering what is important for you as we begin to emerge from COVID restrictions.
Recognise and accept the way you are feeling
Taking the time to recognise how you are feeling, can help you understand why you may be feeling a particular way. There’s no right or wrong way to feel about the unusual situation that we are all currently going through.
Throughout this pandemic period, our mindsets have gone through a process that would ordinarily be seen when we are grieving. But in actuality, we have probably experienced the whole range of mindsets including disbelief, to fear and flight, to survival and empathy, as well as loss.
Take the time to acknowledge how you are feeling, and recognise this. Recognising where we are in the process, how we feel and focussing on how to move towards the next step is the best approach for our current mindsets.
Decide what you are keeping and what you are leaving behind
The extra time we have all spent at home in the last several months has made a lot of people reflect on their ‘pre-covid-life’, and reflect on changes that they would like to make ‘post-covid’.
Decide what you want to take forward into your post-COVID world. Remember, it can take an average of 21 days to form a habit when we are focused and want to achieve it. Leverage the habits that are good and make you happy, as they are already on the way to being embedded into your everyday life.
These habits or goals could be as simple as smiling to your neighbours more, continuing your daily walk around the block, trying new and more difficult recipes to compliment your new-found baking skills or even ensuring that you continue having a work/life balance. The choice is yours.
Plan ahead to gain more control
While there have been many uncontrollable elements to 2020, there are some things that we can control, which will help our emotions and mindset.
A good idea is to schedule your day ahead, and come up with some contingency plans, just in case.
You’ve decided to head out to lunch with some friends at a café that you used to visit at the start of the year. Before you head out, take time to think about which may have changed ask yourself these questions:
- How will you get to and from lunch while maintaining physical distancing?
- Will you need to allow more time if you’re taking the train or bus?
- Many public transport options are practicing social distancing so taking on less passengers
- What to do if the café isn’t open, is only doing take-aways or is at social distanced capacity?
- Can you eat at a local park, or go somewhere else?
- Planning ahead will help you feel more prepared and hopefully less anxious.
Take it one day at a time
One thing to remember is, this is new to everyone. And everyone is going to respond differently. Don’t compare yourself to others. Even if it looks like someone is coping better than you, that’s not always the case.
Our mind naturally struggles with the ‘unknown’ and not having control. Thinking too far forward opens us to unanswered questions and the ‘unknown’ of where post-covid life will lead us.
Expect that your feelings may change daily as you get used to a new normal.
Taking it one day at a time can help you embrace the good days and cope with the not-so-good ones. Be kind to yourself and if you can, make time for self-care.
Doing something you enjoy that’s just for you, can help you better manage your wellbeing as you adjust to post-COVID way of life.