How's that diary looking? Still as empty as the toilet paper aisle? The good news is our world is opening back up and there's freedom on the horizon! The bad news? Many of us are waking up to a harsh new world. Our homes have become offices, and we're cut off from our friends (despite the odd Zoom session). Even with limited freedom of movement, heading to the woods or park feels weird and a little irresponsible. It's enough to wonder how not to blow your lid, let alone chill out.
Thankfully, even now, especially now, we have a choice, and we're still in control. We can respond smartly and find that moment to chill out within ourselves. Here are a few ideas on how to find that vibe:
How many times have we said, "I wish I had more time to do that"? Well, your wish has come true (though we're not suggesting for a moment that you wished for Coronavirus...) While maybe you can't venture out as far or for as long as you'd like, this is the perfect time to reconnect with the world. Why not make the most of it?
1. Tree-t Yourself.
We're not going to call it forest bathing or tree-hugging, but with lockdown partially lifted - reminding yourself of the natural world is a great way to put everything in perspective. As nature writer Henry David Thoreau writes "Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain." Written almost 200 years ago, this still rings true.
2. Social Media isn't always your friend.
Who knew that the ability to see through walls and into others' lives might have a downside! Recent studies have found a clear link between frequent social media usage and the rise of insecurity and anxiety. And the operative word here is "frequent." We need to bear in mind that our mindless scrolling on waking up and going to bed might not be great for us; it's actual interaction with people we crave. So why not pick up the phone or start a Skype? We're betting the person you want to speak to is thinking the exact same thing.
3. Find your comfort level.
It's good to remember that this is an entirely new situation, so when getting back out there - no one really knows how to do this right. Even the experts don't have all the answers, so it's reasonable to have your own uncertainties and doubts. Socialise at your comfort level and remember, it's alright to be a little scared about getting back out there.
4. Up Your Zoom-Game.One of the weirdest aspects of video calls is sitting in awkward silence. After all, it's not like we have an abundance of things to talk about - most of us have been locked away for months, so it's easy to turn towards the negative factors (Corona being number one, obvs). So, find something interesting to do - whether role-playing, quizzes or party games are your bag (we love a few rounds of Heads Up and Cards Against Humanity).
Break out of work modeWhen working from home, it can be tough to find the off-switch. Working ten-hour days isn't even efficient - it pushes your mind towards distraction. The 30 minutes you can spend recharging can help prevent hours in wasted time stressing about work.
1. It's okay to say No.2020 is officially the year of the reset, a time when you admit to yourself that you can't do it all ― and embrace it. Saying "yes" to every offer, even the ones you really don't want to agree to, can have long-term consequences - causing overwork and lower overall performance. Put yourself first - it's a fact of life that you can't please everyone.
2. Leave the future alone.A bit like a dystopian sci-fi film, the future can be terrifying. Whether it's kids, marriage, buying a house, even your next holiday — living in the future too much makes us stressed. Remember, there's always another life change around the bend. Chill out and spend more time in the present. This doesn't mean never thinking about the future; it just means spending less time thinking about the future.
3. Escape your own head.Sometimes our own heads are our worst enemies. If you feel yourself getting agitated or worried, try to think about your problems from a logical, detached perspective. Figuring out why exactly you're stressed out, rather than simply focusing on the way you feel, can change your attitude in a matter of minutes and even sometimes offer unexpected insights.