In one of the most uncertain times we’ve ever found ourselves in, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us all with emotional stresses we’re not used to. Gone are the days we could travel freely without checking in, or leave the house without hopping online to check the latest restrictions. With all this uncertainty it can sure take its toll on our mental health and emotional wellbeing, especially under some of the toughest lockdown restrictions in the world.
Despite the unpredictability of the future, just remember we’re all in this together working to stop the spread. While immensely challenging, what you’re feeling right now will be temporary and there are many other people experiencing similar struggles. The best thing you can do is stay positive and fill your life with things that bring joy and a smile to your face during this tough period. Remember, you’re one tough cookie!
Here are 9 ways you can take care of your mental health and emotional wellbeing during lockdowns.
1. Stay connected
If you live alone or far away from your family, lockdown can feel pretty isolating. Disrupt those icky #isofeels by staying connected with your friends, family, or even team, through technology.
Staying in touch with your family via Facetime, or even an Instagram video group chat with your besties, can help keep those feelings of loneliness at bay. Plus, you will find comfort in knowing some of those closest to you are also experiencing the same feelings and you do not have to walk this journey alone.
2. Get active and move your body
Channel that high vibing energy feeling after a hot and sweaty workout! Trigger an endorphin rush to flood your mind and body with those feel-good hormones during times of uncertainty.
Try a 15-minute HIIT class on YouTube, or some morning yoga to stretch the body. Do anything to get yourself off the couch and moving in lockdown. Let that exercise high and feelings of goodness flow throughout your day.
3. Go outside and soak up nature
If your local government allows you to venture outside for exercise, go outside for a brisk walk or run to reconnect with the nature around you.
Turn off your phone, soak up the vitamin D, and take in all the beauty nature has to offer.
Listen to the soft rustling of the trees, the birds chirping, and take a deep breath of the refreshing air (don’t forget to wear your mask!) to cure any cabin fever symptoms.
4. Maintain your routine
The last thing you want to do is come out of lockdown with an unfamiliar routine. Maintain a sense of normalcy in your life by controlling your schedule at home. Your morning or bedtime routine does not have to change just because you’re home all the time.
If you’re an early riser, make sure your AM alarms are still set and avoid staying up all night binge-watching the latest hit series on Netflix. Stick to your usual day-to-day schedule, like making time for eating, exercise, and self-care – this way you’ll be able to seamlessly slot back into your regular routine.
Break up your schedule with activities and tasks to ensure you are still being productive and getting things done in lockdown. We bet there’s a backlog of admin to catch up on for your business, so there’s never been a better time to get ahead.
5. Dive into a good book
Been eyeing off a particular book on the New York Times Best Seller list? Now is the perfect time to nosedive into that book you’ve never had the time for.
Take your mind off things and really soak up each word to get caught up in the fiction or details of whatever you’re reading. If you can’t get to a physical book shop, don’t stress! Either order it online or download it as an e-book or audiobook.
6. Learn something new
Feed that creative mind by learning something new or brushing up on some old skills. Just because you’re in lockdown does not mean your life has to stop. There are so many things you could learn!
Not the best cook? Try some new recipes your normal working hours wouldn’t allow you to make. Always felt a burning desire to knit but never found the time? Buy some yarn and throw on a YouTube tutorial to dive into the world of knitting!
Alternatively, keep up with the latest techniques sweeping the industry. Study up and watch some tutorials to get prepared to treat your clients with new services or offerings.
Learning something new will allow you to take your mind off the COVID craziness and allow you to be in the present by focusing on something that makes a positive impact in your life.
7. Unfollow people who do not serve you anymore
When you’re cooped up at home in lockdown, it’s hard not to live vicariously through other people’s lives via their social posts. However, with everything going on in the world, it seems like everyone has an opinion they want to share online. Consuming all these opinions on socials day in, day out can be mentally exhausting and confusing, especially when friends voice conflicting views on the pandemic.
Re-evaluate who you follow on social media and assess whether they’re adding value to your scroll or deserve an unfollow.
8. Turn off the media
The media tends to sensationalise absolutely everything to make money from ‘clickbaity’ articles. With everything going on in the world, from the pandemic to the civil unrest in Afghanistan, you can’t help but feel like the world is stuck in one big nightmare.
Deciding to switch off from the media or reducing your consumption will help limit any thoughts or feelings of anxiety that come with this unsettling time.
9. Control what you can control in your life
In a time that feels like you have no control, take back your power by controlling what you can within your life and home.
How? It’s very simple! Maybe your space needs a facelift? Declutter your home or redecorate to freshen up the place. Are all your days at home melting into one continuous chunk of time? Plan out your lockdown routine and fill it with different activities so every day feels different at home.
Taking control of your life in lockdown will help you feel a little better knowing that in some areas you have control, despite the precarious nature of the pandemic.
And lastly, if you need extra help, there’s always additional support out there:
Book in with your GP for a mental health plan via telehealth