This is a collaborative post
The past five months have seen our lives transform immeasurably. Not since the Second World War have we had to go through such dramatic times that have forced us to reevaluate what is important to us. With the economic climate uncertain, employment looking unstable, and the virus showing little signs of abating, it can be difficult to find joy in our lives. We have had to get used to not seeing our family and friends, wearing face coverings when heading out to the shops, and spending our social time indoors at home, rather than heading to the movies or going out for dinner. This has forced us to dramatically change our lifestyles. It can become easier to eat junk, become sedentary, and feel low.
Many people have found that their anxiety levels have increased, they are struggling to sleep, and the lack of a hug or a handshake is having a detrimental effect on our mental well being. To combat this, you need to take a step back and reflect on what remains positive in your life. This can be challenging at such testing times, but it is crucial if you are to find a proactive way through the uncertain times that we now live in. Five months ago, you may have been looking forward to a summer vacation, a new promotion, or moving house. These priorities may now have shifted. Take a look at how you can still appreciate the little things during these pandemic days.
It doesn’t matter whether you are young, free, and single or whether you have been married for a decade or more, there’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has made you appreciate the relationships in your life a lot more. No longer can you drop by your parents if you are passing and you cannot pop to a cafe to meet friends and have a chat over coffee. You are forced to remain physically distant. There was no preparation for this and the order to lockdown and retreat into our home environments was sudden. That is the thing about viruses and pandemics; they can take hold, have a life of their own, and then we suffer the consequences.
People have been struck down severely by this virus, meaning hospital treatment and long term after-effects. Nearly everyone has been touched by coronavirus, whether directly or indirectly. This is why it is so vital that you appreciate the relationships you share even if you can’t hug your mom or give a high five to a pal. There are plenty of ways that you can still stay in touch and remain social. The advent of all things Skype and Microsoft Teams has meant that you can organize a virtual quiz with your pals to emulate the pub quiz you usually head to on a Sunday. You can still chat with your dad online on his birthday and you can still say hello to your growing nieces and nephews. While this isn’t the same as seeing them in person, you can still catch up, chat, and enjoy one another’s company.
If your pal has welcomed their little bundle of joy into the world during lockdown and you haven’t had a chance to meet them in person, it can feel like you are missing out. Don’t fret. There are still plenty of ways you can stay in touch and show that you are thinking of them. Check out the best newborn gifts to buy in 2020 and send one direct to your pal. Stay in touch online, keep calling regularly, and look forward to meeting the little one soon. When this is all over (and it will be), we will appreciate and value the relationships we have so much more. We will be better individuals, better friends, and better daughters, mothers, and sisters.
As an employee, you might be feeling nervous about your role within the company that you work for. Businesses large and small across the globe are having to make tough decisions about staffing levels. People aren’t shopping as much, they aren’t parting with their money as easily, and they don’t feel the need to get back to the high street. This can have a devastating impact on retailers, eateries, and service providers.
If your sector is struggling, you might be concerned about your own job. Try to seek solace in the fact that you are still currently employed and put a plan in place. Consider how you can tighten your purse strings, stick to a tighter budget, and begin saving a little more. Doing this will give you the practical financial cushion that you may need if you were to be made redundant.
If you are currently working from home, it can be difficult to find the motivation to be productive. The allure of social media and procrastination is only an arm’s length away. While you might be tempted to spend your days scrolling through Facebook while your laptop is open on the coffee table, and you are sat in your pajamas watching a box set on Netflix, you need to reassess your new working days. Working from home doesn’t mean taking a load off. You need to show your boss that you can be responsible, trustworthy, and capable of coping with your new home environment.
Set up an office within your home, preferably away from the temptations of the TV, the kids, or social media. This designated space should be for work alone, to give you a boundary between your work and home life. Ensure that you set your alarm every day so that you are up at the same time. Working from home can rid you of structure, so it’s crucial that you put that routine back into your day yourself. Have a shower, eat breakfast, and wear some smart casual attire. While you might not need to get suited and booted for your home office, scruffs won’t do. Ensure that you utilize the video function on your virtual calls and enjoy chatting with your team.
Working from home can be isolating and we can soon begin to miss the banter of the office and our work colleagues. If you are struggling, why not suggest a team social that can be conducted virtually. Meeting up with work colleagues for virtual drinks after work on a Friday can bring a sense of normality back into your working day. It can help you to feel less anxious, allow you to chat about things other than work, and help you to regain aspects of your social life.
When we are anxious, we can lose sleep. While anxiety tends to be an acute period in our lives for most people, others are hit by chronic anxiety which can be devastating. With coronavirus looking like it’s here for the long term, people prone to anxiety can struggle to cope. Alongside this anxiety, you may find that your sleep routine goes to pot. If this sounds like you, it’s vital that you begin to hone a new sleep routine. Try and work out what relaxes you during stressful times. This could be a spot of yoga, some mindfulness exercises, reading a good book, or getting outdoors. Ensure that you utilise some time every evening to dedicate to this aim. Run yourself a hot bath and enjoy a soak in the tub. Think about lighting some scented candles and listening to some of your favourite tunes as you enjoy a relaxing soak in the bubbles.
For others, heading outdoors can help relax and soothe. Being in natural sunlight can be beneficial to your sleep pattern as natural light can help to regulate your body clock, readjusting your circadian rhythm. Head to the park, walk the dog, or go for a gentle cycle ride. This means that you won’t remain sedentary and you won’t be tempted to spend your days fully cooped up indoors with the TV and your smartphone for company. You need to veer away from the rolling news and Twitter feeds that do nothing but hammer home coronavirus statistics and worries for the future. This heightens anxiety and can make the quest for sleep ever more elusive.
Try and banish the screens for at least two hours before you hit the sack. This can help your mind remain relaxed and less stimulated when your head hits the pillow. There’s nothing worse than going to bed with an active mind and intrusive thoughts whirring around in your head. You can stay awake clock watching for hours. Rather than scroll through a news website for two hours before bed, have a light meal, read a book, watch a bit of TV and enjoy a spot of meditation. By conducting some simple breathing techniques and moving your body into a range of different postures, you can strengthen your core and clear your mind at the same time, making you feel relaxed and more content.
These coronavirus days can make us feel anxious, down, and low. However, by focusing on what we do have in our lives and welcoming in more positive thoughts, we can revolutionise how we cope with these more surreal days. While our lives have changed immeasurably, we don’t have to think about this in a negative way. Appreciate the little things in life and look forward to the future.