5 Ways to Look After Ourselves During Lockdown
Wednesday 29 April 2020
As lockdown continues for many of us across the globe, there are real concerns for the implications on our long term mental health.
Here are just 5 ways to help you look after yourself during lockdown.
1. Keep to a Routine - As tempting as it may be to pull the duvet over your head in the morning and roll over for another sleep, routine is even more important when we are not leaving the house for work or school. Routine can help keep us grounded and give us structure to our days: routine punctuates days that can otherwise drift. Get up and go to bed at regular times. Divide the day into work, play, rest, mealtimes and sleep times. It will help keep a sense of normality in times that can feel far from normal.
2. Practice self care - It’s easy to stay in our PJ’s and not bother about how we look if we’re not seeing anyone but at this time we need to look after ourself and basic grooming will make us feel better about ourselves so start the day with a shower and get dressed. A good diet together with regular exercise, fresh air and time for relaxation will also boost our mental health. At this time limiting your news time can be really beneficial. Catch up once or twice a day and then turn off. A continuous stream of relentless bad news can be overwhelming.
3. Stay connected - We are social animals and we need others to thrive. ‘Social isolation’ and ‘social distancing’ should be rebranded as ‘physical isolation’ and ‘physical distancing’. Thank heavens we have so many technologies to stay in touch with loved ones. People are getting together virtually in way we haven’t seen before - virtual quiz nights, virtual drinks parties, virtual yoga classes, virtual choirs. There are still lots of opportunities to connect so reach out.
4. Help others - Doing good does us good too. Evidence shows that helping others is good for our own wellbeing and there is a wealth of opportunities to help others right now. There are plenty of volunteer roles available in our communities such as shopping for self isolators. You don’t have to commit to an ongoing role to make a difference. Small acts of kindness, a phone call to an elderly relative, a thank you card to someone who has helped you, checking in on a friend who’s going through a hard time, can prove to be the ultimate win-win situation.
5. Be kind to yourself - these are extraordinary times and all of us have had to face unprecedented change and uncertainty. On top of that, many of us have dealt with illness, bereavement and loss of our livelihoods. As we navigate our way through, it is normal to experience some anxiety and to have bad days. Now is not the time to add to that burden by kicking yourself because you haven’t learnt Mandarin/‘pivoted’ your business/written a book/ created an outstanding homeschool environment for your children. We are facing a global pandemic crisis, cut yourself some slack and watch that negative self talk!