Yesterday was the first time in months that I was able to get outside and enjoy a patio in public.
It was a familiar and unusual feeling.
I wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was weird how much I had forgotten the feeling of being in that environment and how great it was to connect in person.
We were discussing the blog post I recently shared on 5 Tips to Help Disconnect and Enjoy Your Summer, and building on that, I thought I would take it a step farther to additionally provide you with 10 Ideas to Help You leave Lockdown.
The difference here is the previous article leaned on helping you make the mental shift that it is crucial that you take some off over these next few months to help avoid and prevent burnout.
(NOTE: If you need help with this, check out my workshop on Boundaries & Burnout: How to Take Control)
This article in particular focuses on helping you identify what areas of your wellness you want to focus on.
Since the pandemic began, many people have picked up bad habits that need to change, and getting your physical and mental health in order again continues to be a priority.
With that said, here are 10 ideas to help you focus on getting your health back as you leave lockdown.
Throughout the last 15 months, the fitness industry was severely hit hard. Having been deemed a non-essential service, gyms and training facilities were forced to shut down.
With Ontario reopening again, many facilities are now inviting members to return and look at booking outdoor classes, or space permitting, open indoor sessions.
Even I lost motivation throughout the last year at times – until I started the #75HardChallenge.
To continue working out when you are all alone at home is very difficult, and I know how much I am looking forward getting back to seeing the fitness community.
If you have been out of your rhythm, seeking that accountability, and need to get your health back on track, make sure you don’t fall into a trap of just drinking your summer away and take advantage of the lifted regulations to prioritize exercise.
Catch Up On Sleep
On the flip side, you may want to consider catching up on sleep. Today, it’s hard to find someone that doesn’t wish they would have more time available to stay under the covers.
Throughout the pandemic, employees have been working up to 2.5 longer hours per day that they used to, and according to the most recent Morneau Shepell Mental Health Index Report, “The proportion of the working population with burnout risk tripled in 2020 compared to 2019.”.
I know that when I finally had a break in my calendar during the winter and took some time to lay down, I think I slept for nearly two days. I was so exhausted that I didn’t even realize how tired I was!
As you plan to get out of the house and enjoy the world outside, don’t forget to take some time to recharge your regularly drained batteries and give yourself some permission to catch up on sleep.
Get Some Sun
Now, I don’t think we need to verify this one, but studies have shown that sunlight has a direct effect on your mental health.
In Canada especially, we often lack Vitamin D, and sunlight is the best way to help increase that, along with helping release serotonin.
Can you pre plan a beach day in your calendar?
Who from your list of friends you haven’t seen that can you call to plan a weekend together down by the water?
Can you plan a backyard BBQ?
You don’t need to leave the country to get some sun, but you do need to get outside.
Travel (Where You Can)
Now, I’m with you… we all want to take off and go somewhere beyond our province.
If you can and you feel comfortable doing so, I say go for it.
Myself, I don’t plan to hop on a plane this summer, but rather continue to pursue activities that I can do locally or between provinces where I can continue to save a few dollars and delay my gratification for the winter when I know I will really want to fly south.
Regardless of where you are at, what escape can you plan to get away to this summer?
Consider heading to Montreal and rent a boat on the Lachine Canal with H2O Adventures.This summer, consider heading to Ottawa and rent a boat on the Lachine Canal with H2O Adventures! Click To Tweet
Whether you want to stay local or travel, try downloading the All Trails App and schedule a hike in a new city.
It takes some planning and research, but in my keynote on The Hero Mindset I speak to the importance of breaking things down into small simple steps, and this is how we begin to turn things around to become a hero in our own movie.
(NOTE: If you are looking for a keynote or workshop as you begin booking into the fall, contact Kevin here to learn more)
Support Local Restaurants
Since March 2020, Restaurants Canada reports that over 10,000 restaurants have already closed across Canada, and almost 50% expect to permanently close if the conditions don’t improve.
As we have the ability to begin eating out on patios and getting together again, consider which local establishment you would like to support again.
While you’re there, remember to be kind and generous…
There’s sure to be some nerves amongst the staff as they get back into the groove again. Showing your appreciation and gratitude for their service will go a very long way, and it will help you feel better in the process.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Going back to the idea of restaurants, it will be attractive to want to drink when outside on the patios and have some deep fried, greasy food.
However, when I think about how I would like to take advantage of the summertime, I know that if I were in a position where I am trying to dig myself out of a hole from a difficult winter, just like in fitness, I would want to leverage the energy of the summer to be the kickstart to get myself back on track.
As Canadians, we all know that winter comes around pretty quick.
As you think about enjoying the restaurant dining, keep in mind that you don’t want any current health challenges to get worse.
Use the positive weather to not fall further behind, but to help get ahead.Use the positive weather to not fall further behind, but to help get ahead. Click To Tweet
Set New Goals
Goal setting doesn’t sound sexy in the summertime, but when you think back to the last 14 months, when have you even had time to sit and think about setting any goals.
Most people haven’t.
And so, wouldn’t you like the next 12-14 months to be different from the last?
What do you want your wellness to look like?
What do you want your schedule to look like?
How about your career?
Your work hours?
How much travel do you want to take on again?
Personally, I feel like this summer will be an opportunity to begin again with a clean slate as you reflect on what your life has been like over the last year and consider what do you want your life to look like by summer of 2022.
Reconnect with Friends and Colleagues
Who haven’t you seen in a long time?
Have you reached out to them yet?
What can you do that gives you a chance to reconnect?
Personally, I made it a point to see my closest friends over the last few months. They have been essential to helping me maintain my mental wellbeing.
However, there are many people whom I work with that I haven’t seen in over a year.
I don’t see myself trying to all of a sudden start scheduling all meetings in person again, but if I am dropping into a city while I am running errands, now we can reach out and not feel that sense of guilt that we once did.
Who are some of your friends or colleagues that you would like to reconnect with?
Reconnect With Family
Similar to above, many people who have elderly parents or family members in long term care homes may have not seen one another for a long time.
I know another friend of mine whose parents do live in their own home, but just saw them for the first time this past weekend.
Do you have some family that you need to reconnect with?
Who do you need to reach out to today?
Give them a call and let them know you would like to get together.
“It’s been a long time!” has more meaning now than ever!“It’s been a long time!” has more meaning now than ever! Click To Tweet
Leave Your House
The final tip I would share is that you need to leave your house.
After being stuck inside for so many months, don’t let fear and anxiety keep you from living your life.
Having restrictions lifted means that we are finally getting further control back over our lives, and the last thing you would ever do when you apply The Hero Mindset is to let someone else control your thoughts.
With restrictions officially being lifted, remove the mental handcuffs that so many of you have been carrying around for this past year and get out and live your life!
Once you take that time to rest and recharge your batteries, leave your office, leave your home, and get back to living a summer that you love.
After spending several weeks in lockdown, we finally have the light shining to let us enjoy a summer outside.
This is not a time to continue to live in fear but embrace this opportunity to begin to get back out into the world.
If you haven’t read How To Disconnect and Enjoy Your Summer yet, I encourage you to check it out.
And if you need any help encouraging your employees to take vacation time and/or manage their schedules so they do not burnout, contact me here to learn more about my keynote/workshop on Boundaries & Burnout: How to Take Control.
Enjoy the summer ahead!
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