Lockdown was hard for all of us. You had to get used to all the get-togethers on Zoom, the social distancing, working from home, … It felt lonely at first, but then you started getting comfortable being by yourself. You had no other choice. You started taking better care of yourself, starting a new hobby, trying out new recipes (I know I did) or taking on extra work or projects just to keep yourself busy. You created a new comfortable rhythm within all social restrictions.
But now … The world is opening up, social activities are allowed again, you can go dancing, go to the cinema, practice your hobby again … You feel the need to say YES to everything just to play catch up.
It’s overwhelming. You’re overdoing it and your body is telling you to stop.
Or listen to the podcast version on your way to work!
Some of you feel like you want to continue doing what you were doing during lockdown: the extra projects, new hobbies, these moments of self-care … I know I enjoyed the extra time for reading, listening to interesting podcasts, taking a relaxing bath, meal prepping and trying out new recipes … I even wrote a book! (Which I haven’t dared to publish yet)
You would love to continue some of your lockdown life, while ADDING ON your social life and activities that weren’t possible before.
It’s time to create a new rhythm for yourself that includes some of the new things you started doing during lockdown, while enjoying a social life, and still creating enough downtime for yourself.
This is an opportunity to reshape your life in a way that’s more aligned to who you are right now. We can all list up a million disadvantages and horrors about the pandemic life, but I’d love to flip that coin and grasp this opportunity with both hands to really reevaluate yourself and the way you live your life.
How do you rebalance your life after COVID?
How do you reintroduce a social life without getting overwhelmed?
What have you learned about your body and your needs during lockdown that you’d love to keep with you as you’re creating a NEW normal?
Let’s dive into 8 steps that will help you readjust to life after COVID and find a new balance in life.
Download the Life After Lockdown worksheet below and follow along as you reflect on each step and self-coach your way to a new normal after lockdown:
Self-coach your way to a NEW normal after lockdown
Download this worksheet and follow along with the 8 steps that will help you readjust to life after COVID and find a new balance:
Step 1 – The things I used to do before lockdown that I want to leave behind ...
Lockdown was like a harsh look in the mirror.
An obligatory pause button to stop living your life the way you were, taking time to rediscover yourself, and changing your ways.
I realized I was spending way too much time online, and especially now that everyone wanted to organize Zoom parties and chat about the COVID numbers, I felt totally overwhelmed by the online world.
What were you not doing well before lockdown?
In what way were you pushing yourself?
What needed to change completely - and lockdown gave you the chance to do so?
(A little bonus question to reflect on: How can you avoid falling back to that?)
Step 2 – The new activities, habits, hobbies I started doing during lockdown …
You reflected on what you weren’t doing well before lockdown, now let’s take a look at the things you started doing during lockdown that were completely new to you.
We were all looking for activities to fill up our time in a new way. Some of them were new hobbies to keep our minds occupied, others were practices of self-care to create a new daily rhythm and healthy habits to stay sane in these weird times.
I discovered many things about my daily rhythm that I didn’t realize before. I was actually quite happy just being by myself. I started meditating every morning and I loved my quiet evening wind down with a warm bath, relaxing music, and some journaling. I also discovered I have way more energy when I dance Zumba every day, and when I go to sleep at 10 pm.
What did you discover about your daily routines during lockdown?
Which practices of self-care were new to you and helped you feel calm and healthy?
Any new activities or hobbies you weren’t doing before COVID?
Step 3 – The lessons I learned about myself during lockdown …
We’re diving a bit deeper here than just activities, hobbies and a daily rhythm.
Again, COVID gave us a harsh look in the mirror. We were all confronted with our own beings. It didn’t always look good, I know, but I’m sure you discovered some good things as well.
Good or bad, it’s all teaching us a lesson about ourselves, and it would be a waste of opportunity to NOT learn from them.
I’ve learned to put a better filter on my social life: who gives me energy? And who am I seeing more out of politeness or habit? I became much more conscious about my energy givers and energy takers, in all levels of my life. All in all, I became much more in tune with myself. Sometimes it’s not easy, I am a sensitive person and at the same time I want sensation and adventure in my life. Ever since the lockdown started, I became much more focused on nourishing my mental calmness in a cozy home.
What did you not like about yourself during lockdown? What have you learned from that?
What did you discover about yourself that is good?
Any thought patterns or habits you weren’t conscious of before COVID?
Step 4 – What I really need to feel calm and healthy ...
You learned a lot about yourself during COVID. It wasn’t your choice. You just had to spend more time with yourself. And even though it was hard, there are some beautiful fruits that are growing from that experience.
You became more conscious about your own body, your intuition, your needs …
As I mentioned, I certainly turned more inwards. I still meditate in the morning and I don’t turn on my WiFi until 11 am or so. I feel at my best, and most inspired, when there’s no outside influences my brain has to process. I am writing this blog in my pyjamas with my green tea, staring out the window from time to time, and I haven’t turned on my WiFi yet. The world feels more peaceful when I’m just by myself. I feel completely calm, happy and healthy.
What do you need to feel calm and healthy?
What lessons from your lockdown life do you really want to take with you?
Step 5 – What I loved about life BEFORE lockdown, and life DURING lockdown …
Ok, time to get real.
As members of the Healthy High Achievers community, you know that I don’t just let you reflect on yourself and leave it at that. I want you to walk away with very concrete action steps, and I want you to truly prioritize what makes you feel best.
I want you to take a piece of paper (or use the self-coaching worksheet) and divide it into two big columns.
On the left side, you write: WHAT I LOVED ABOUT MY LIFE BEFORE LOCKDOWN And on the right side, you write: WHAT I LOVED ABOUT MY LIFE DURING LOCKDOWN
I am not going to influence you with my own experiences this time.
I want you to set a timer of 10 minutes, turn off your notifications, take a blanket and some tea if you like, and let your thoughts flow feely.
Now that you have your two columns, take a pen of another color and get ready for your intuition to speak.
I don’t want you to think about this one. Do it very quickly so that your thoughts can’t interrupt the process.
Scan through your two columns and circle whatever makes you feel MOST happy. What gives you that warm feeling inside? What makes you spontaneously smile? Which ones make you feel at your best?
Step 6 - I am not that crazy anymore about ...
Now that you’ve decided on what truly makes you happy, what you would really love to take with you and prioritize in your life after lockdown, let’s reflect on what you’re ready to let go of.
You can’t do everything at once. I know, we are high achievers and multipassionates, we love a bit of everything, but we need to train our minds to make choices based on our intuition, NOT based on our driven minds.
In order to do these things that intuitively make you feel happy, which you’ve circled in step 5, you need to make space in your schedule and get rid of what is not really serving you anymore.
Which activities are you doing a lot right now, or longing to do, just because it’s been prohibited, but you weren’t actually THAT crazy about them before COVID?You like doing these things, but did you really do that much of it before COVID anyway?
Which projects, events, social gatherings, … that you are engaging in right now is not really making your heart sing?
How can you politely stop doing them? If that’s not possible: how can you do a way smaller version of them?
Step 7 - I create the space to just be by myself ...
You went from one extreme to the next. You were all by yourself during lockdown, and now you feel eager to constantly surround yourself with people.
And you now you need to rebalance this thing because it’s getting too much.
You’ve learned so much about yourself, and you started these new practices of self-care that are slowly drowning under all of your new commitments and activities in your life after lockdown.
It’s never too late to pause, reevaluate and change course.
Which is exactly what you’re doing right now and I thank you for taking this time for yourself and loving yourself enough to create a NEW normal that’s completely in line with who you are. No who you were before lockdown, not who you were during lockdown, but the new YOU who’s going through this blog post at this very moment.
How many moments of just being by yourself do you need?
How many moments of social life and being outside is enough for you, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed?
When do you feel you’d love to have more time for yourself? Is it in the mornings, on certain evenings, on Sundays?
Now, put those moments in your calendar FIRST and THEN you can fill the other time slots up with social activities if you want.
It’s very important to prioritize your moments to yourself, and see them as meetings that are AS important as catchups with friends.
Do you value yourself enough to put these meetings with yourself above all else? ;)
Step 8 - I simplify my schedule by ...
You did a great job going through these 8 steps. I am truly proud of you.
It is time to get real with your schedule for the next weeks that’s probably already filled with commitments.
If you’re going through this blog post, you are probably already taking on too much and you need to downsize and rebalance your life after lockdown.
Look at your calendar for next week and get brutally honest with yourself:
Is your schedule truly realistic? Or is it overwhelming you?
Which activities can you cancel or downsize? Which ones are you committing to out of politeness or sense of responsibility but are not truly making your heart sing?
Where you can you make space for the activities you circled in step 5?
When will you schedule your meetings with yourself?
Remember: this is a process.
You did it. You took these important steps to rebalance your life after COVID.
Remember, this is a process and the first time you’re doing this you will downsize a bit, prioritize yourself a bit, but you won’t feel ready to make a radical change and do the big cleanup in your schedule. And that’s ok.
Take your calendar for the coming month and start implementing whatever A-HA moments you had during this self-coaching experiment.
Start canceling, changing, minimizing plans that aren’t truly aligned to the person you are after lockdown.
We have all grown in such a fast speed that returning to our old selves from our life before COVID just doesn’t align with us anymore. And that’s totally okay.
Look at this lockdown experience has a hard RESET button and a necessary chance for you to change the way you live and the way you take care of yourself.
If you wish, you can set a reminder in your calendar to fill out this worksheet again in a couple of weeks. Every time you do this, you’ll get better at prioritizing what’s truly important for your well-being.
This is what I love about Healthy High Achievers, you are eager to make the most out of life and follow your passions, and you’re also ready to start prioritizing your own well-being instead of pushing yourself on your way to success.
And that, my friends, is what’s making you successful already.