Top 6 tips for surviving a winter lockdown
Let’s face it, Lockdown 3 has been the toughest yet for many of us. It’s definitely been harder this time round now its winter. The days are slowly getting lighter, but it’s cold and dark most of the time, and it's difficult to get outside to exercise and stay socially engaged. We’re all feeling it. Tired, anxious, irritable, unmotivated. Over it.
there are plenty of simple things we can all do to make lockdown a little and more manageable mentally. We’ve put together 6 tips to help you through the last of the winter months.
Focus on the basics: Eat, Sleep, Exercise, Socialise
It’s really tough right now and it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of information going in and out of our heads every day. Instead of threating over a million things you feel you should be doing, try and keep and simple and focus on the essential things that are beneficial to your mental health: eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, exercising and keeping in touch with friends and family. If all of these things are in place, the rest will follow.
Keep talking and keep in touch as much as possible
Because we can’t be together in person right now, many of us will begin to withdraw and disassociate from keeping in touch, which has the adverse effect on our mental health and exacerbates symptoms of depression and anxiety. Keep talking and keep in touch with friends, family, colleagues and your local community as much as possible. Stay connected also to the things you love and the hobbies/activities that make you happy.
Talk about you’re worries and how you’re feeling
The worst thing to do during this time is close off and internalise your emotions – make sure you letting those closest to you know how you feel. After all, a problem shared, is a problem halved. You’ll be surprised how much better, how much lighter you feel just by telling someone how you’re feeling. Speak to people you trust, and be honest about your fears, worries and anxieties, they will likely be very supportive.
Nature is the best remedy
There is nothing better for clearing the head quite like being in nature, so it's crucial that we all take a walk or go for a run every day. If you have a garden, try and get outside a few times a day to get some fresh air, switch off and listen to the natural sounds around you. If you don’t have a garden or any nearby green space, why not attach a birdbox to your window to invite a little bit of nature into your home. It can be incredibly therapeutic! For more tips on gardening without a garden, click here.
Keep a routine no matter how small
Spending all day, every day indoors is not healthy for us, we are creatures of habit and we need routine and variation in our day to give our lives purpose. That can be tricky right now, but it’s important to find a way to introduce a gentle routine into your day at home so that the days don’t all meld into one and the hours don’t just pass by. Break your day into clear chunks, outline a few objectives for the day and for the week and try to stick to them, keeping aside clear time for work and relaxation.
Stop beating yourself up!
Try to stop worrying about New Year’s resolutions, development goals and fitness and career aspirations. Now’s not the time. All our plans for the New Year have pretty much gone out the window, so cut yourself some slack and take the pressure off. Those things can wait - you’re surviving a pandemic, that’s all you need to focus on right now and you’re doing great!