For weeks, we have been getting happy news that the world as we knew it prior to 2020 is coming back. Eating inside restaurants, busier grocery stores and it’s safe to dust off that suitcase and plan a trip. With this excitement can also come with forgetting how to live a busy work day and have that same energy to socialize and just do the bare minimum outside of work. I see it in our house that after that 9-5 commitment that takes up all of our lives in some way or another, it doesn’t leave much room for anything else. Before 2020, I think we were encouraged and even told we were succeeding when we were able to have a full work week and a full social life as well. This past year has allowed our household to slow down and enjoy that free time after work without scheduling it with a dinner with friends, a fitness class or any other last minute plan. Even with the world in panic around us, in our house we were able to get restful sleep because we set aside that free time after work. Days started to blur into each other but on the plus side, we had healthy home cooked dinners each night, time at night for me to shower and not be rushed, an at-home workout a few nights a week with time to watch tv or read a book.
Now that we see others doing things and seeing people again, I want to fill up my social calendar with fun exciting things as well but also be mindful to schedule free time in my day again. I’ve enjoyed reading again and a few minutes of meditation at night before bed. It’s not normal in all households since we don’t have children, but in the morning we can enjoy a cup of hot coffee before it gets cold. Why are we rushing so fast to get rid of all of our free time and go back to over scheduled?
Here are a few ways to ease back into that life we all lived in 2020:
- Make a list of habits and routines you picked up this past year that you would like to keep.
For me, it’s mediation with the Calm App and reading one book a month.
- You’ll be getting invitations to social events again but learn to feel comfortable to saying no.
Not interested in that activity, just nice decline. You do not need to be busy 24/7 again right away.
- Work boundaries were difficult this past year because of “unprecedented circumstances”. Take those sick days for a mental health day if needed and create a way to leave work at work.
- If you have the budget, hire a company to come in once a month or more if you can afford it to clean your home. Being at home made me realize how much of my free time I spent cleaning our house while working full time.
- It’s not just you, after a year of being at home we all don’t have have clothes that once fit us. Don’t despair and get rid of them. Pack them up in bins and put them in storage so the only clothes in your closet are ones that fit you. I swear it does wonders for your mental health!
- Plan one trip this summer and look forward to it. It doesn’t need to be big but by having one thing planned you have something to look forward to. You don’t need to travel every weekend to feel like you are making up for lost time. Ease back into having your busy weekends back.
- Speaking of weekends, plan to have one activity free weekend a month this summer. Say no to things, don’t plan on leaving the house. It’s a routine we had for over a year and our bodies are going to miss it!
- Before you sign up for those fitness classes, art class, second job, weekly breakfast date with friends… try to wake up early on a Saturday at the time you would have to go and go through the motions of getting ready. Is this the activity you want to add back into your schedule again? Do you really need to be waking up early on a Saturday to do something you don’t really enjoy that much?
Your free time is valuable. Just because the world is going back to the way it was before 2020 does not mean we need to be busy all the time again.
And most importantly, have an amazing summer having fun with friends and family you have not seen in a long time. Make memories, laugh a lot and let’s not wait this long to see the people in our lives again!