A lot has changed since early 2020. We had to adjust to a life of uncertainty and change whilst taking a crash course in social distancing, wearing masks, exercising differently and staying home a majority of the time. We also had to go into periods of lockdown again and again, and it’s not been easy.
But, as humans do very well, we learned to adapt. You might even have found that you settled into your routine and enjoyed the slower pace at home.
But as the vaccination rates climb and Australia has started to open back up, you’ve suddenly found yourself thrust back into the thick of social hour. Suddenly you’ve got friends calling you up for hangouts, family is coming to visit, and the silly season is fast approaching.
Let’s start with the good news: having the option to be more social is a gift! The bad news is that after a period of uncertainty and bouts of isolation, you may be more prone to burnout and anxiety. To help you avoid it, we’ve compiled the top five things you can do to take care of yourself during this time of transition.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body daily. When you get quality sleep, you’re looking after your mental and physical health. Depending on your age, aim for 7 - 8 hours of sleep every night. This dedication to sleep may mean saying no to your mates for that last beer at the bar or requesting a brunch with family instead of meeting for dinner. But remember this: when you say no, you’re saying yes to yourself.
Our body craves good healthy food and water to stay energised and hydrated. We’re not saying avoid Pavlova or Champagne (we’re not savages!). But this is your friendly reminder to squeeze in as many fresh plant-based nutrients and unprocessed foods as often as you can and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Staying active is not only good for your physical health but your mental health too. Many of us discovered walking during the lockdown as a great tool to keep us energised, focused and feeling mentally well. So keep it up! You know those walking buddies you became besties with during lockdown? Why not keep the tradition going and ask them to make it a weekly date? And consider changing it up! Now that our gyms are back open, the sky’s the limit to how you can keep moving.
Make Time for Rest
We know your days are busy, and they’re going to get busier as the holidays approach. So just as important as sleep is taking time out of your day to rest. Set time aside in your diary to be mindful, reflect and recharge. We’re often taught that being busy is a good thing when it’s really not. Aim for at least 15 minutes a day of mindfulness. Activities like meditation, journaling or even staring at your green plant will bring about a healthier mindset.
Rediscover Connection Mindfully
Higher levels of isolation have made many of us a little anxious for socialising. What you do every day becomes your comfort zone, so ironically, we are now stepping outside our comfort zone by being around others. But ultimately, we have to remember that humans are, by nature, social animals. We thrive by connecting with others, even in small ways. If you’re nervous about socialising, take it easy on yourself. Start by inviting one or two friends over for a glass of wine, or go out to dinner with your closest friend. Remember, it’s okay that you’ll feel exhausted after. Get a good night’s sleep and try again in a few days.
Above all else, take it easy on yourself! It’s okay if you have good days, bad days, tired days, sad days and happy days. If you have compassion for yourself and embrace a balanced lifestyle, you’ll come out of these uncertain times with more love and appreciation for who you are and for the people around you.
Interested to learn how getting active at Virgin Active can have a significant impact on your wellness? Book a tour today to discover our extraordinary experiences!