We've been locked in our houses for more than three months now, and I don't know about you, but it's starting to take its toll.
Whether you're feeling the return-to-real-life angst or itching to get back normalcy, you're probably still not feeling quite like yourself.
And this is totally normal.
Life hasn't been normal for months, and probably won't be again for a very long time.
But this doesn't mean you can't start to feel like yourself again.
Here are some quick tips to help you get back to you, fast.
Make your bed every morning.
Annnnnd clean your room...
No, your mum didn't send me.
But sometimes mess and clutter can pile up on us when we're feeling disconnected.
It's hard to say what-causes-what, but there is a definite link between increased clutter and higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
As we know, high cortisol levels wreak havoc on everything from our hair to our skin, our weight and of course, our moods.
Cleaning and creating habits is one surefire way to give yourself a sense of normalcy and purpose.
Completing simple tasks such as making your bed every day will give you back some control and leave you feeling immensely calm.
Plus, is there anything more comforting than climbing into clean sheets at night?
Image credit: @sittingprettyhalohair
Very few things transform your mood as quickly as doing a random act of kindness.
Science confirms this.
You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you give someone a present they love or see videos of strangers being kind to one another on the internet?
Not that we have seen much of that lately.
But, that feeling is a result of the 'Kindness-fulfillment connection.'
I don't know about you, but I've been feeling pretty helpless lately.
This sometimes makes me want to retreat into my blanket fort and never emerge.
So, I think we could all benefit from feeling like our actions matter right now, no matter how small they may be.
Pay for the coffee of the person behind you.
Drop some food and blankets to your local animal shelter.
Or better yet, adopt ALL the animals.
Give someone a random compliment.
Drop some fresh baked goods at friends or elderly neighbours' houses.
Just do something great or small for someone and see how your mood starts to change.
It's for science, after all.
Well, not too close, 1.5 metres apart still, please.
It's easy to forget who we are when there is no one around to remind us.
And no one reminds us exactly who we are quite like our best friends.
Whether they're showing their love through gentle bullying or shouting at the top of their lungs how wonderful you are, whether they're providing a therapy session in a parked car or helping you draft a text to your ex, best friends are important.
Maybe being away from them for months is a big part of why you're not feeling like yourself?
Now, that we're allowed to get out there for bevs, brunch, coffee, walks or whatever!
Just make sure you take some time to see your pals.
@dominiquelissa wears the THICK halo in col. Light Brown 6.
@caseyjamess_ wears the THICK halo in col. Dark Blonde + Beige Blonde 613/10. Styled by @alanamevissen
I love reading, so going into isolation; I had incredibly high expectations of how many books I would smash.
And yet, I found I struggled to connect with anything.
I couldn't lose myself in any book the same way I did before lockdown.
I still read, but it felt more like a chore.
Like, a mere pass time rather than one of my favourite hobbies.
No matter how great the book was, I just didn't feel it.
Because I didn't feel anything.
I was disconnected from life.
And even more telling, I was disconnected from me.
Now, as restrictions begin to lift slowly, I can feel my excitement for reading returning.
I find myself wondering about what is next for the characters and planning reading time into my days.
The more I read, the more I feel pieces of myself falling back into place.
This is because reading can be a catalyst for reflection.
It can evoke cherished memories.
Re-reading our favourite books reminds us of our favourite places, people and times in our lives where we felt content.
Reading reminds us of not just who we are, but where we are and how we came to be here.
Returning to real life will be excellent, yet scary, so reading is a wonderful form of escapism.
Not only that, but it also changes your perspective, which, I think we could all use right about now.
Hold up, hear me out.
I know you've spent the last three months finishing Netflix, but did you really connect to anything you watched?
Or did you just watch to kill time and stare at your phone?
I'm betting it is the latter.
Now that watching Netflix isn't your only option, you can start to really enjoy it again.
I find nothing boosts my mood or helps me feel like me again, quite like watching repeats of The Office or Parks and Rec.
So if you're feeling a little meh, put on your favourite show and really allow yourself to zone out.
Even though we have spent three months indoors doing very little, it has been extremely emotionally challenging.
So, we could probably all do with a bit of a reboot.
@explorewithkate wears the Thick Halo in Col. Cream Blonde #20
Put your toes in the sand or the ocean or even just sit on the grass for a while.
It's so easy to fall into the trap of staying inside.
But this is a dangerous game.
Even if you're like me and burn in the middle of a rainstorm while wearing 50+, going outside is good for us and super important to our mental health.
Meditate on the beach or go for a hike, read or eat your lunch in a park.
Just make sure to focus on the fresh air and feel the ground beneath your feet.
Let nature nurture you and remind you who you are.
@mikkiauldhair styles the Thick Halo in col. Light Brown + Medium Brown #4/6
Au Naturel is great.
But for me, au naturel is less 'cute-effortless-boho-chic' and more 'sick-colonial-child-who-won't-survive-the-winter-eek.'
So from time to time, it has been nice to remind myself that I can sometimes still look like a presentable human being.
This has been especially useful for days when I've fallen into the 'I'm-so-ugly-I-should-go-live-under-a-bridge' trap.
Which has happened often during isolation when I have had no reason to wash my hair for weeks on end.
I know beauty is on the inside and all that jazz, but sometimes a bit of foundation and some great brows is all you need to get that pep back in your step.
Even if you're just going to check the letterbox, put on some lipstick and remind yourself you still got it.
Reconnection is all about remembering who you are.
But keep in mind, this may be different to who you were.
The person you were three months ago has probably grown and changed, so keep that in mind as you try to find your way back to them.
One of my favourite ways to reconnect is to find my favourite memories and sit with them.
This is almost a meditative practice where, instead of using memories as a way to live in the past, you visit these memories and feel the happiness and joy associated with them.
You then bring these feelings back with you to your current being.
Now, as I mentioned, your current self will be very different from your happy, carefree memory...
Unfortunately you cannot revert to a time before you paid bills or were responsible for your own eating habits.
*** Consumes entire block of chocolate because mum didn't stop me.
(Adulthood is great right?)
But you can pull those light, happy and energized feelings from that memory into who you are now.
Pull those feelings of contentment forward to the present.
You will never feel like you in a body or state of mind which you view as temporary, so acknowledge your growth (spiritual, or thanks to the entire block of chocolate, physical) and allow yourself to, excuse the clique quote, to live in the now.
You are still you.
It's just a matter of remembering or reimagining who you is.