New year, new you? It’s hard not to feel like nothing has changed – with lockdowns, social distancing and working from home all still dominating many people’s lives. Zoom Zumba classes, eccentric new hobbies and mountains of home baked banana bread might seem very last year, but there’s plenty of reason to treat this January as a chance to help lift yourself and others out of the lockdown gloom, and start to feel that golden, summery light at the end of the tunnel. We’re not talking crash courses or restrictive resolutions, but a few small steps.
Have your group chats gone quiet and your video calls become a sea of blank rectangles? The spirit of last spring astounded and amazed, showing the lengths people will go to stay in touch with loved ones, and find new ways to meet, and share, and laugh. Don’t let lockdown fatigue set in. We’re all social animals, and however small, want to feel part of something bigger than ourselves. Reconnect, reminisce, and plan for when you can be together again. We hope your love is stronger than your patchy Wi-Fi.
Though you may have mastered the art of the living room personal fitness routine, there’s more to being active than a few pushups in front of your confused chihuahua. It can be easy to get lost in the box-sets, turn off your brain, and wait for this whole thing to blow over. Make sure you treat your mind like you treat your muscles, with workout days as well as rest days. Try news things, rediscover lost passions – anything that gets you interested, excited, or amused. Take your brain out for its government approved daily exercise.
With body and mind taken care of, the importance of those rest days is clear. We need separation between the different, competing aspects of our lives – something that can be hard to find when one place becomes your home, workplace, romantic getaway, kid’s adventure playground, and Friday night out with the squad (dinner, drinks, dancing by the dishwasher.) As best as you can, try to keep these things separate, and create activities that help you transition between them. Walk round the block before work, or get glammed up for the weekend Zoom drinks.
The best way to achieve all these tips is to forget yourself, and do it for someone else. Nothing connects better, is more active, or gets you out of your own head more than helping and caring for friends and strangers alike. It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of something like the coronavirus pandemic, so the best thing to do is act. We’ve seen how much support, strength and joy is out there for our key workers, our NHS – and all in spite of being forced apart and isolated. Get talking, get involved!