How’s your social battery? Almost 18 months into a global pandemic with still constant change on restrictions, you may be feeling a little depleted. Going out to places socially, venturing back to work and even seeing friends and family can leave us feeling exhausted. This is completely normal. Our social stamina is depleted and we can’t keep up with the pre-pandemic pace.
We are also all living within a constant state of low-level (but often much higher) stress level – also linked to uncertainty, the news and adapting to change, however welcome it might be.
““Your brain needs plenty of rest to function at it’s optimal level. Go to sleep!”
― Lalah Delia
Here are few ideas for how you can recharge your social battery, look after yourself and be stronger in the face of change:
Sleep when you need to! Make sure you are sleeping enough and make time to rewind at the end of a day. If you find it difficult to sleep, try writing down your thoughts so your brain knows it’s ok to park them.
Breathe – we hugely underestimate this vital resource. If you are feeling tense try 3-4-5 breathing where you breathe in for 3 counts, hold for 4 and breathe out for 5. Make sure that out-breath is longer than your in-breath. This calms our sympathetic nervous system and helps manage stress. And it is instant!
We all strive for happiness — but we spend most of our lives learning to be unhappy, says Srikumar Rao. In this practical talk, he teaches how to break free of the “I’d be happy if …” mental model, and embrace our hard-wired happiness.
Slow down – we still charge through our days. Schedule times when you can just do nothing, when you can reflect or sit in your garden. Try starting each day with a little mindfulness and intention setting. Avoid over-scheduling. When you are out somewhere or with friends, be present.
Practice self-care – do things that nurture you. Get better at asking yourself “what do I need today?” Know what triggers stress. Limit consumption of social media and news. Instead listen to inspiring podcasts or read a great book.