Here we are, entrenched in a lockdown situation again and many of us have had enough! So, being the helpful folks we are, we thought a few handy hints might be in order to help us get through this awkward period. Whereas we might be feeling that lockdown is [insert a word of your choice]: mundane, stressful, worrying, cruel, depressing, evil… there are still positives we can take from this experience. So, let’s see if we can find some silver-linings to spur us on…
Think of ourselves… and others
Some of us are more affected by the pandemic than others. As time has gone on, there’s an ever-increasing chance that we know someone who has had their life changed by Covid. It’s, therefore, crucial to respect that and let our friends, colleagues, neighbours and family deal with their unique situations without prejudice. It’s easy to be angered by the multitude of awful things happening to our jobs, children, social lives… What we could probably all do with are some tools to deal with what life throws at us (and there certainly is a lot at the moment).
We happily came across these Mental Wellbeing audio guides on the NHS website. They are free and, in our opinion, extremely helpful.
We’ve managed to have a listen to the ‘unhelpful thinking’ and ‘anxiety control training’ ones so far, which we thought were brilliant. Have a listen yourself and, if you think it’s right for your children, you may want to get them to join in if they are struggling with the current strange circumstances. It could well provide coping skills for life.
If you are finding yourself with unexpected time on your hands, volunteering can be a great option to boost your mood, feel you’ve achieved something worthwhile and get a sense of camaraderie. There are still many organisations needing help. From the NHS to foodbanks… see the RBWM volunteer database for the current local opportunities.
We are allowed to go out for exercise every day for a reason!
Physical health, mental well-being, endorphins… we don’t need to spend any more time telling you why you should do exercise. And to put a cherry on the cake, you can even meet a friend to exercise together (if you are on your own) so you can spur each other on and get a really great workout.
If you prefer to exercise alone, the ‘Couch to 5K’ app provides a great training partner to ease you into the world of running. Choose from hanging out with Jo Whiley, Sanjeev Kohli, Michael Johnson or Sarah Millican – you’ll be best friends before you know it.
It doesn’t matter a jot if running isn’t for you though, just do something rather than nothing. See if you can manage 150 mins over a week where you:
- Get your heart beating a little faster,
- Feel your breath quickening,
- Warm your body up.
That’s only about 20 mins a day. And please don’t think it has to be anything involving lycra or sweat either – a walk at lunchtime to get a loaf of bread, a weekend cycle ride or hitting the playground with your children will all do nicely.
Supporting local instructors who are running online classes that you can do from home is also a wonderfully convenient option – there are almost limitless options: Pilates, PT, Boxing or Barre… and there’s the added benefit that you’ll feel ‘super good’ for supporting a local business.
Take control of SCREENS!
The world has significantly pivoted online due to lockdown and social restrictions. School lessons, meetings and even family catch ups had to go online or stop all together which is completely understandable. But there is also a lot of time which we actively choose to spend online.
How often have you found yourself scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and realised that you’ve just spent the best part of an hour of your day and achieved… nothing? It’s so easy to do and it does little to make us feel good about ourselves. That’s why we’d like to advocate a very specific “30-minute challenge.” It’s really simple:
When you wake up in the morning, make sure your first 30 minutes of the day are completely analogue. So that means no phone, no tablet, no smart watch, no TV, no email… Instead, use that precious time in the morning to do any of the following:
- Gather your thoughts;
- Set your intentions by choosing what to give priority to in the day;
- Have a conversation with someone in your house;
- Create a delicious breakfast;
- Reminisce about your last holiday over a cup of tea;
- Ponder greater issues…!
It’s proven that detoxing from tech, even just for a short time will make you more productive. You may find yourself feeling more in control as you take charge of your first actions of the day rather than passively reacting to what you see on an email or social media. Try it, you might like it and it could well help you get your mind in even better order to be able to cope with lockdown.
Thank you for reading. We hope you feel a tiny bit better.