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How to balance our work and social lives post-lockdown

woman feeling burnt out

Anyone else feeling a little frazzled?

While we are thrilled we can see our friends and family in the flesh again, it’s been difficult adjusting back to our ‘pre-pandemic’ lifestyles.

After a year from working from home and having virtually no plans (apart from the occasional walk and the ever-so-slightly-forced Zoom social), we’ve been thrown back in the deep end of balancing different areas of our lives.

We’re now juggling social plans along with work commitments again and, quite frankly, it’s exhausting.

So if you’re wondering how on earth you managed to cram in drinks with friends and family meet-ups alongside a full week of work before the pandemic – you’re not alone. 

Post-lockdown fatigue is something lots of us are experiencing right now.  

We’ve asked experts how we can get back to balancing work and social plans again – without feeling so burnt out. This is what they had to say…

Start with sleep

Never underestimate the importance of getting a good night’s sleep – particularly now we are socialising in the evenings more, so we might not be getting as much as we were in lockdown.

Sleep recharges us both physically and mentally – so will help us feel more energised for a busy day.

Dr Elena Touroni, a consultant psychologist and co-founder/co-CEO of My Online Therapy, says to try to consistently go to bed at the same time each day and give yourself time for around seven to nine hours per night.

She adds: ‘Set a curfew on things that affect sleep quality, such as alcohol, caffeine and big meals.

‘Because stress and anxiety can cause sleeping problems, unwind before bed too – and minimise screen time before bedtime.’

Keep boundaries

Yes, things may seem like they are getting back to normal, but it’s going to take a while for us all to adjust.

Mentor Natalie Trice says that during this time it’s vital to keep both professional and social boundaries.

She says: ‘When it comes to work, put boundaries in place and keep to those hours and, if you can, resist answering emails at 11pm or being part of a 7am Zoom call.

‘You might be worried that jobs are more precarious than ever but it’s really important that you don’t say “yes” to everything, as this can leave you tired, resentful and unfocused.’

It’s vital to do this with our social lives, too.

Natalie adds: ‘Don’t try to do it all to catch up on what you missed over the past 18 months. 

‘Pubs, bars, clubs and entertainment spaces are open (and hopefully for good), so say “yes” to the things you really want to do, plan the next few weekends so you see family and friends – but you don’t want to overdo it and end up with endless hangovers, poor skin and general feelings of tiredness and lethargy.’

Try to keep a balance

‘The temptation to burn the candle at both ends now that life is going back to normal could be high, but in the long-term it might not serve you well,’ adds Natalie. 

Just because there are seven days in a week doesn’t mean you have to make plans for every single one of them.

Natalie adds: ‘Yes, you can go back to the office, have drinks after work and even jump on a plan for a quick weekend away in the sun, but keeping some balance could be the key to longer term happiness and well being. 

‘It’s not all or nothing – it’s doing what’s important to you but looking after your body and mind at the same time.’

If you’ve got a heavy week at work, perhaps lay off the social plans.

Also, don’t forget to recharge your social battery with some much-needed alone time.

Practice self-care

‘Fatigue often points to a lack of self-care – an imbalance in what we’re giving out to the world and taking back for ourselves,’ adds Dr Elena.

‘It’s not selfish to take time to recharge.’

It’s also crucial to remember that self-care comes in many forms – so do whatever is right for you.

Dr Elena says: ‘You might exercise, have a long soak in the bath or schedule quality time with your partner. It’s all about being mindful and doing activities that nourish you.’

This will ultimately make you feel better about yourself and less stressed.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

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  • Posted on August 8, 2021