COVID-19 restrictions are starting to ease and life is returning to a new kind of ‘normal’. With this excitement comes the old habit of over committing weekly schedules, making promises that are hard to keep, trying to do too much at once and squeezing every last minute out of the day and falling into bed at night exhausted.
COVID-19 has provided some wonderful insights on how work can be done differently, provided an opportunity to reflect on what is really important in life and given us a reason to slow down and smell the roses a little more.
Before you dial your life and routine back up to full speed, here are 5 tips to help you transition to a new way of being and avoid a post-COVID-19 burnout.
Spread social engagements out
When you’re not allowed to do something, you want to do it even more, so be aware of the temptation to fully book your schedule. Spread out your coffee catch ups with family members, work colleagues and every person you’ve met in your life! Protecting your energy is important so that you can be present and engaging with those you care about. Waiting an extra week or two to catch up with Gladys will be worth it to avoid bemoaning that she is your tenth coffee catch up this week, and accidently yawning at the table.
Be ok with saying “no”
If your time in isolation has led you to rethink some of your commitments or relationships, now is the time to set new boundaries that honour and value you. Time is a commodity that can never be replaced so investing it wisely can provide a better return on investment. Get clear on who you want to spend time with, what you want to spend time doing and you will enjoy more experiences in life to remember than those you’d rather forget. Try this strategy next time you’re asked to do something – If you can’t give a firm Yes (within seconds), then it’s a No.
Avoid exercise ‘over-training’
Post COVID has a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ vibe about it, so don’t fall into the trap of setting fitness goals that are too large, unrealistic and set you up for failure. You are likely to have had three to four months away from the gym so the ‘go hard or go home’ approach to exercise won’t be sustainable or enjoyable long term.
Excessive exercise depletes your energy, puts extra stress on your body and hormone production and can make exercise feel more like a chore than a gift for life. To get a clear picture of the right type of exercise for your body type you can work with a practitioner to understand your personalised HealthType profile, otherwise begin by simply listening to your body. Start with what is realistic for your capabilities and calendar, get some runs on the board before stepping it up a notch, and then add another session or two to your weekly schedule.
Boost your immune system
Whether you have been engaging in some iso-drinking during at-home happy hours, or have enjoyed a post-COVID Moet or two with friends, now is the perfect time to give your immune system a boost.
There’s many simple ways you can incorporate immune boosting foods into your current daily nutrition, including adding super greens powder to your morning smoothie, increasing your daily intake of fruit and vegetables by an extra one to two servings a day, or doing a mini overhaul and reducing your intake of processed foods, sugars, cereals, breads and dairy.
Some great foods that are rich in antioxidants for a strong immune system include:
- Blueberries – rich in antioxidants
- Dark chocolate – contains theobromine antioxidant
- Broccoli – vitamin c and antioxidants
- Sweet potatoes – rich in beta carotene
- Spinach – vitamin c and e
- Ginger – anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties
- Garlic – prevention of colds
- Oranges – vitamin c
- Almonds – vitamin e
Schedule regular ‘me time’ in your calendar where just YOU, no one else, can enjoy your own company doing things that are good for your soul. Partake in things you love such as a walk in nature, reading a good book under a blanket, swimming in the ocean, take yourself to a fancy restaurant, go to a show, do some gardening or just sit under the stars. No explanations, just whatever you want. Maybe once a month, maybe once a week, whatever you can start with and keep showing up for you.
Fiona Hurle is a coach, speaker, author and mental health advocate. After a highly regarded corporate career resulting in sickness and burnout, she turned her focus to developing a health and wellness business tailored to supporting corporate women’s wellbeing. Fiona coaches women utilising personalised healthtype profiling, nutrition, exercise and holistic health practices.
Check out www.fionahurle.com for more information
The Carousel would like to thank Fiona Hurle for her story.