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Post-Pandemic Pressure and How to Overcome it

Hello hello Zesties! Welcome back to another lifestyle post.

HAPPY ONE HUNDRED! This is my 100th post, and in honor of this, I will be includingTWO SUPER SECRET SPECIAL RECIPES in July’s newsletter. So far the recipes in my email newsletter have been: Sheetpan Nachos and Dairy-Free Cinnamon Rolls + now another 2 in honor of my 100th post. Make sure you are subscribed to get, it will be extra super special.

This week I am talking about a certain trend that I am seeing happening around me and around the world:

People are going…OUTSIDE

Now, I am not judging because I, too, have been going outside – but, there is this sudden feeling of expectancy and attempt at normalcy in the air. Which all I can think is…but why?

The WHO (World Health Organization) has a much more complicated, scientific definition but here is one that just makes sense

These weird feelings I am experiencing as I look around and see people in masks (or not in masks), specially-marked spots on the train, everyone throwing nervous glances when someone coughs or sneezes in a building…I KNOW others around me are having these same experiences and this is normal. Let’s just face it, the world will never go back to the way it was prior to COVID-19.
For example, Blake and I are having family over to our place, upon arrival do we:
a. Give them a hug (maybe in pre-COVID times)
b. Shake their hand (does not follow social distance guidelines so)
c. Touch elbows (weird, just weird)
d. None of the above because we should not be having people over anyway (per Sydney laws we can have people over now but still)

If you were stuck answering the above question GREAT – you passed. Because that’s exactly what happens, the awkward tensions of the unknown, new level of ‘normalcy,’ even in greeting family.

Also, another example (this will play into a later post either end of June or beginning/mid-July): what is with the sudden pressure and rush to be back in pre-quarantine shape immediately? Or to see all your friends at once? Or to go do all the things you didn’t have a chance to do?

Here is the thing, there is no right or wrong way to go about this post-pandemic pressure; but, here are a few really useful tips to overcome the weird feelings and extra pressure you might feel. These can apply to either going back to work in an office (yikes) or going out in public or when you’re scrolling through Instagram seeing everyone seemingly living like ‘normal’

If you’re anything like me, you are probably feeling this unexplainable anxiety too. Per the poll I hosted this week, if you’re anything like 98% of my Instagram followers, you are also feeling this unexplainable anxiety. There is nothing wrong with feeling the pressure to readjust to the world outside of your home. For most of us, it has been at least three months since we have been outside, functioning in pre-COVID times; that is a significant amount of time. Prior to overstimulating your senses with the outdoors, check in with yourself: are you ready? are you healthy (remember there is still a virus with no cure, if you are feeling ill or showing any symptoms, medical experts recommend that you stay home)? are you mentally okay? Being inside or only going out for the bare essentials then suddenly needing to readjust to this sudden change can be draining so just check in with yourself. It’s okay to take it slowly by going back to the gym or out to eat. It’s still just as important that you stay safe and healthy.

When quarantine started I was under the impression that I was going to do all the home workouts and bake all the bread and create all the content…yeah, that did not happen but that’s okay too. We were dealing with all the pressure and stress of a major pandemic, like it was totally okay if all you did was survive over the last few months. There is no rush to get back out and do all the things – the gym will still be there next week, the restaurants are not going to close (fingers crossed), and the readjustment into the office can take some time for everyone.
In terms of work, do a good job and get it done – but don’t overdo it. Taking on every project or task when you haven’t been performing at max capacity or haven’t been working at all, might be overwhelming and add to the pressure you are already feeling to readjust. Take it slowly getting back into work and back up to your pre-pandemic performance levels and be transparent with yourself through this process. Taking your time and being transparent will help you to do better than before you left the office or before you lost your job, use the uncertainty to motivate you to reach new goals.
Remember, 14% of people are unemployed in America (bls.gov) and 7% in Australia (abs.gov.au), there is a general feeling of desperation and attempt at normalcy and reintegrating back into the work force. The best you can do here to get back into the workforce is keep your resume updated, take free classes or webinars to upskill, and continually refresh your job perspective. Consider a job you might not have considered previously, look into a different field, or just work on integrating back into work and getting back on your feet.
In terms of your social life, unless you are capable and energized to meet up with all the friends, attend all the brunches, drink all the post-quarantine drinks, maybe spread your time out here, as well. There is no rush to see everyone, your true friends will understand if you are taking your time to readjust.
In terms of the gym…let’s come back to that in a later post 😉

Last but 100% not least:

Coming out of a pandemic and intense quarantine will be a process. Accept this and be kind to yourself. Trust me, my weight gain and self-image right now ARE NOT KIND TO ME. But the best I can do is slowly re-focus on eating healthier foods, slowly getting back into the gym, listening to my body and being kind to my mental health. For so long we have been preoccupied with the pandemic, the breaking news, the numbers of deaths and cases – for your mental health to take a hit is expected. There has been so much negativity in the environment. You are not going to be thriving if you’re merely surviving. So, be kind to yourself and allow yourself the time to heal and grow and grant yourself the understanding to move forward in your ideal way.
Understand that you are probably not where you were a few months ago and you probably have some work to do. Don’t overdo it, but don’t underdo (this is not a word, not concerned, you know what I mean) it either. Let this gap of progress motivate you to move further than you were before, use it to absolutely propel yourself forward. I can’t lie, it has been incredibly pleasing and motivating to see my Instagram going back to the gym and encouraging others to do the same or just encouraging others to get back out and find their new normal.

That’s it! Those are my top 3 tips to overcome this weird feeling of post-pandemic pressure. I really hope this helps you out as much as it helped me to write everything down. This was a hard post for me to write because I am right there with you. Feeling this anxiety and pressure with the inability to explain it made me write everything and rewrite it multiple times, so I apologise if this is kind of rambling or does not make total sense. I am open to any and all feedback, so please reach out if you have anything!

Next week I have another recipe, one that I have been working on for ages and am so excited to share. I knew I wanted it to be a June post so I can’t wait to see it go up in time.
ALSO! I have a big announcement coming….probably next week? I am waiting for it to arrive 😉 I took a big leap and it actually ended up working out, so I can’t wait to share. I think it is going to be a great resource and product for all of you readers out there. It also kickstarted the draft of a…BONUS BLOG. So you will be getting an additional post within the next few weeks. I mean wow, how great has June been??

Can’t wait to check-in with all of you as we are getting through these post-pandemic times together.

xo.🍋

Author: Claire Elizabeth

My name is Claire Elizabeth and welcome to my lemon zest life! It all started back in 2015 when I began creating healthy recipes to support my busy lifestyle between the gym, full-time work, and full-time university. Four years later I have updated my healthy recipes but am still living that busy lifestyle. This is catered for the full-time employees, students, parents, and everyone in between that lives a lemon zest life, like me. xo.🍋 ​

3 thoughts on “Post-Pandemic Pressure and How to Overcome it

  1. Great advice. I wish it was ‘post pandemic’ but unfortunately here in Melbourne we’re right back where we began, in isolation and lockdown for another six weeks. Scary, uncertain and VERY frustrating times.

      1. Claire, I’m sorry to say this but I feel as though Melbourne and Victoria is simply a testing ground for what’s going to eventually happen to the rest of Australia. Take care and keep your mind open. There’s a lot more going on here underneath all the fear tactics. Dig deeper.

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