Post Lockdown: Conscious Lifestyle Choices Going Forward
Updated: Aug 24
Whether you were lucky enough to stay home during the covid-19 pandemic or continued to work, all our lives changed over those 7 weeks. And now, as lockdown restrictions begin to ease, life is slowly starting to feel normal again. But what exactly was normal to you? Takeaway coffee, Uber Eats, going to the movies, eating in restaurants, socialising in bars, commuting to the office, flying overseas... Life in lockdown turned such things into luxuries. This new found, stripped back version of society, forced us to live a much simpler, sustainable lifestyle.
We started cooking together more. We spent quality time with our children, parents, loved ones or ourselves. We looked forward to our daily walk or run in the fresh air. We chatted with friends on video calls. We tuned into work meetings via Zoom. And we saw the older generation win with technology. It seems we’re pretty adaptable. This compassionate, caring and collaborative way of life has so many physical and mental benefits it would seem regressive to revert straight back to old habits.
Could a more simplified, uncluttered lifestyle be the way forward? With this in mind, now could be a good time for some personal reflection and intention setting. This doesn’t have to mean dramatic changes to your everyday life, but maybe more conscious and thoughtful intentions that you know are achievable?
How to smoothly transition out of lockdown and back into reality (while making you and others around you feel good)
If you can, now is a great time to be a conscious consumer. Small businesses and local food producers have been hit the hardest, but we can help them. Eating and drinking locally is a really fulfilling experience. Not only do you get a good quality product, but supporting local means less food miles as well as putting money back into your own community. It’s also often a chance for an interesting conversation with a staff member. These little interactions are so important and make everyone feel good.
Weekly food shop
The lockdown also saw the return of the classic weekly shop. Planning meals to cook during the week then buying the ingredients meant less wastage. It also gave us a chance to try new recipes and flavours. Going forward, that’s not to say you won’t be tempted to order in despite knowing you’ve got the makings of a lasagne in the fridge. But have you actually ever regretted making that homemade meal from scratch? The sense of accomplishment is worth noticing as well as the lack of numerous plastic tupperware boxes you get with takeaways. When you have a plan you can save money, time and stress (and the planet!).
Conscious screen time
Don’t be afraid to ‘unfollow'
There were a lot of people talking openly about mental health issues across social media. The realisation that we are all living through such an unfamiliar scenario was talked about, and how there was no right way to behave during this time. Those of us using the time to start new projects were congratulated, but also those who didn’t feel like being creative were understood. This inclusiveness and positivity-promoting use of social media was so refreshing to see.
With this in mind, consider distancing yourself from people that don’t promote this same level of understanding. If you find yourself on social media feeling inadequate then there’s something wrong, and it’s not you. Try not to give this too much thought either, just ‘unfollow’. This goes for news outlets too. Don’t believe everything you read and do your research before coming to conclusions. Fake news and gossip can be damaging, it’s usually one person’s view and not the general consensus.
Use your device for learning
Remember screen time doesn’t always have to mean social media. You might have used some cool educational apps over lockdown such as DuoLingo to learn a language. When you make changes to how you use your phone or device, you’ll begin to make different associations with it. So, the more time you spend learning a language on your phone, the more you’ll see your phone as a learning tool rather than just a way of passing the time. DuoLingo has a ‘streak’ feature which gives you more incentive to make your practise consistent. The feeling of satisfaction after you finish your session is undeniable! Make sure you manage screen time and make sure it's not affecting you.
Conscious nature benefits
Lockdown made everyone appreciate the outdoors much more. Going out for exercise became a treat and something we looked forward to. Being around nature can be so healing and great for our physical and mental wellbeing. Even just a short walk can help clear the mind, reduce stress and improve confidence. If you aren’t able to go for a walk/run/cycle everyday post lockdown, when you are outside take some deep breaths to allow the fresh oxygen into your lungs and be aware of how much your body appreciates it.
Be aware of the breath
If post lockdown life ever gets too overwhelming try to focus on the breath and think about the time you were still. If you meditate you’ll already be aware of the important role the breath plays in mindfulness. If you like the idea of meditating but are not sure where to start, Spotify has some great guided meditations available. You could also try an app such as Calm to help you get started. There is an abundance of research to show the fantastic positives of regular meditation. A study shows how mindfulness can help depressed patients.