Now that we’re coming out of the third COVID-19 winter and heading into spring, many of us are experiencing the struggles of transitioning back to work during these colder months and through a season of prolonged sickness. You may be asking yourself, “Will we ever return to the former lives that we once knew?”
Finding strength and inner resilience during these times of uncertainty can be challenging. Not only are individuals struggling to balance childcare, work obligations, and virtual schooling, but we are also experiencing trauma on a collective scale. This extends not only to the global pandemic, but also with the social unrest and climate change issues unfolding around the world.
As you begin assessing the changes around you, here’s a few resources and strategies you can use to restore balance in your life during this time of resurgence.
Steps for Getting Back to the Real World in a Pandemic
Establish a schedule and set boundaries at home and work for greater balance.
With the increasing demands of work and home life, it’s even more important to set healthy boundaries to protect your time and energy. Creating a schedule and allowing those around you to know your availability can help reduce the stress and overwhelm of feeling “pulled” in many directions at once.
Another important area to focus on is your sleep routine and managing your technology usage at home.
Tips for creating an ideal sleep environment:
- Get in the habit of turning off technology at a certain hour each evening.
- Keep your phone out of the bedroom to eliminate distractions and blue light at night.
- Set a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking at the same time each day.
Over time, your body will adjust to your new sleep routine, creating a feeling of safety and peace that will help regulate your nervous system and allow for better quality rest.
Take a mini-break to reboot or take time to slow down.
Give yourself permission to pause, refresh, rest, unplug from the hustle culture. This is particularly important if you are taking care of children or parents at home that require even more of your time and attention.
When we can return to balance in this way, giving attention to our own stress and uncertainty without making it worse, we contribute to a greater balance and harmony in our environment as well.
For those who like to do-do-do and live a fast-paced lifestyle, it takes more work and a conscious effort to slow down. The power is in the stillness.
Embrace daily routines or rituals to restore balance in your life.
A basic tenet of Ayurveda is “like increases like.” If you’re experiencing burn-out in areas of your life and work, you can seek out ways to restore balance.
Whether it’s ten minutes or an hour, integrate a centering and calming practice that promotes mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi. This can be as simple as walking outside to be with nature, or reading a book in a cozy quiet place. Such practices can be a natural way to refresh your brain. There are yoga breathing practices and postures that can help with fatigue and exhaustion and give the body and mind a reboot.
It’s important in times of turmoil to look for activities that ground and support us. Can you create an inviting, quiet spot in your home to spend some alone time thinking and reflecting? A blanket and some pillows on your favorite chair or corner of the couch can make a great retreat from the world. Look for the daily rituals that will help balance the constant energy of change.
Even on busy days, make sure to take the time to eat a nourishing diet. Soups and stews are great for colder weather and will help fuel your body during the winter months.
Acknowledge that you are doing the best that you can in your unique situation.
Strong feelings of fear, uncertainty and doubt can lead to distorted thoughts or a constant narrative of mental negativity. Try positive reframing of thoughts that are true and helpful. Hanging meaningful quotes around your home or in your office can also help spark much needed motivation when you’re feeling overwhelmed or low on energy on one particular day.
I also believe that sometimes we must acknowledge that a situation is not ideal and then use it as an opportunity to go up from there or an opportunity to try something new.
Once we learn to honor our obstacles, we can move forward with less fear.
Seek out help from your support system and create positive environments.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from a family member, a friend, a colleague or a therapist or wellness professional.
Remember that you are not alone. We are all in this together, which can be hard to keep in mind when dealing with challenging circumstances. It’s part of our human spirit to help and be kind to others, and when we come together, that is when the healing starts to happen.
If you’re interested in gaining more support for your wellness routine, feel free to contact me for a complimentary consultation to discuss your individual needs.