After over a year of lockdowns and restrictions, in many countries around the world, vaccines are now being distributed and things are starting to return to near normality, otherwise known as the “new normal”. After being a couch potato for over 12 months and not having much social interaction with others, apart from on our screens, of course, entering this “new normal” can be daunting for many. Here are some tips from what I’ve recently learned to help ease yourself into this new normal state.
1. Take it easy with your social plans
With restrictions lifting and a new style of social interaction being introduced, it’s important to be easy on yourself and not put too much pressure on your day-to-day routine. In Vancouver where I am based, we recently had a rule of 10 introduced so we could meet with our bubble outdoors. I soon felt pressure to plan exciting outdoor activities with all of my friends. I felt like I was going from zero to one hundred in the space of a week. The pressure I was putting on myself to see everyone I’d missed for so long began to cause me stress. I soon learned to ease myself into social interaction rather than run at it head-on. This allowed me to enjoy planning social meetups which luckily, I’m still able to do today.
2. Do what makes you feel most comfortable
Vaccinated or not, there is still a possibility that we can carry COVID-19 and spread it to others. Therefore, it’s important to keep maintaining social distancing as well as wearing masks. It’s also equally important to keep following your local guidelines and restrictions. That being said, there are some people in our bubbles that are more relaxed with the pandemic and COVID-19 related rules. I have found that being open and honest about where I stand has been very beneficial. When friends are planning to meet, I add into the plans that I want to wear a mask and socially distance, and I ask friends to do the same. That way, I feel more comfortable when we meet in person as everyone is on the same page.
3. If you’re heading back to work, be prepared
As I’m self-employed, I always work from home and so I won’t be heading back into an office full time any time soon. However, I have friends that have recently gone from full-time pyjamas to corporate office wear, it’s been a shock to the system, to say the least. If you know the date you’re going to be heading back into the workplace, it’s probably a good idea to start doing some preparations:
- Get back into a strict routine by setting alarms to remind you of start times, end times and breaks.
- Head out for a walk during times you’d usually commute to get used to leaving the house on time.
- Try meal prep or finding some easy-to-make recipes for those first few nights after work.
- Give working at a cafe or library a try (if you can) to get used to working out of your home.
- Start working with the radio or television in the background to prepare for workday distractions.
So, whether you’re starting to meet up with friends, head back into the workplace or just trying to get back into a fitness routine, these 3 tips will help you prepare yourself, feel comfortable doing so as well as avoid unnecessary pressure and stress.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Also by Anna: Your Guide To Responsible Travel During The Pandemic
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