Coming Out Of Lockdown Guide
Humans are creatures of habit. When our habitats and habits are disturbed, we can feel anxious, stressed and unhappy. After adjusting to a year of lockdowns and working from home, it is no wonder that now, many are feeling nervous and apprehensive as lockdown restrictions ease.
I myself have felt anxious about getting back out there and socialising, eating out in restaurants and being around larger groups of people. And that is totally normal after a year of being told to do the opposite.
So I have compiled some of my top tips to help you ease into coming out of lockdown and adjust to change at a pace that’s right for you.
Commuting to work, socialising more, upping our exercise and general daily activities will have a bigger impact on our energy levels than we might think. This may leave us feeling more tired at the end of the day and less able to “keep-up” than before. To boost your energy, make sure you eat well balanced meals at every opportunity, stick to moderate alcohol intake and optimise your sleep – avoid caffeine in the second half of the day and try to keep a bedtime routine even if you are going out.
At Your Own Pace
Everyone’s pace will differ. Don’t let others pressure you into doing social activities you do not want to do. Over the past year, our brains, bodies and routines have adapted to this new way of living. Everyone has experienced the pandemic differently, with many finding new ways to enjoy life within the circumstances. For others, they have adapted to a quieter way of living, which now brings a feeling of uncertainty as everything starts speeding up again. Learn to use the power of saying no, limit social engagements to a couple of times per week and feel comfortable choosing to do the things you love, not what others expect you to do.
Lockdown significantly changed our routines. No more commuting to the office, buying lunch at your favourite spot, popping into the shops at whilly or heading to the gym after work. This can leave people feeling out of funk and potentially lead to skipping meals, inconsistent workout routines and changeable sleep cycles. With the return to the office, now is the time to perfect and refresh your morning routine.
- Try waking up at the same time daily to regulate your body clock and get back into a routine
- Make time for a nourishing breakfast before work to set you up for the day ahead
- Get in a morning workout or even a gentle walk to give you a boost of fresh air to keep your brain in check whilst keeping your body active
Set Yourself Up for a few Healthy Food Habits
Lockdown has either turned you into a master chef or takeaway fiend. Whichever it is, our diet and eating habits have changed over the past year. With coming out of lockdown and restaurants reopening, it is important to ensure you are eating enough protein, fruit and veggies throughout the day to keep you energised. Eating enough protein will leave you feeling fuller whilst helping to reduce cravings and mindless snacking. Trying to include one protein source with every meal is a good place to start. Want to keep up the healthy eating when back in the office? Batch cook and take in healthy lunch options with you.
Choosing Healthy Options When Eating Out
There are some small tweaks you can make when eating out to increase the nutritional content of your meal.
- Ask for more veggies- All restaurants serve some sort of vegetable side or salad, this is such a simple but easy way to get more nutrients, fibre and vitamins into your meal.
- Look for dishes served with whole grains to get in more fibre. Many restaurants and cafes now offer wholemeal options such as brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato and whole wheat bread and wraps.
- Share dessert- if you have a sweet tooth after your meal, go for that dessert you’ve been eyeing up on the menu. Order one and ask for spoons to split with your friends to still enjoy the experience but not go overboard.
- Skip the sugary fizzy drinks and overly-sweet cocktails, choosing sparkling water with fresh lemon, herbal tea, kombucha or a soda/ tonic based drink if opting for an alcoholic option.
- Opt for foods that have been baked, steamed and grilled over the deep-fried options.
- If you feel ravenous before leaving for dinner, have a small snack such as a handful of nuts, or a price of fruit. This will save you overindulging and eating till you’re uncomfortably full!
Coming out of lockdown is a huge change when we have already adapted to so many other changes over the past year. Many of us have had to find a whole new routine, so changing this up once again can be daunting.
It’s okay to take a break from the news as it can be overwhelming. Keeping in touch with family and friends will help manage stress and distract from other habits such as drinking. Remember everyone is different and do what feels most comfortable for you and your body.