In 2020, lockdown was a new concept to everyone and it brought with it new challenges but also new activities and hobbies to take up around the house.
Whether baking banana bread was one of them or watching television series non-stop was your thing, we all shared a change to our normal everyday lives in one way or another.
Now in 2021, with many of us facing lockdown again or just a number of restrictions keeping us from doing so many things we love, it is important for both our mental and physical health, that we find things we can follow this time around, that allow us to stay positive, healthy and keeping up that connection with others that is so vital.
Today as we promote that important conversation around mental health for Lifeline’s Stress Down Day, we have found some great ideas from different mental health organisations and news sites, that everyone can follow during this period, to look after our mental health.
- Stick to a routine
So many of us have our usual routines outside of a lockdown/Covid-19 restrictions, that we follow and often rely on throughout the day. During such an uncertain time, maintaining structure in our day can really benefit how we feel and how productive we can still be, as many of us work from home.
Your routine may include making a coffee, going for a walk or doing a workout in your living room, the important thing is your routine is yours and it won’t be worse or better than someone else’s, it is made for you, to help you get through each day.
What so many of these mental health organisations and new sites have been saying, is to try your best to maintain the routine you would have outside of lockdown. So make sure you get up when you usually would and get into clothes that you would be happy to be seen on Zoom in.
2. Connect with others
Whether you live alone or with a partner or family, isolation is something many of us can face during lockdowns.
Facetime has been a great invention for times like these and allows us to connect with people from all over the world, whether it be a virtual coffee-catch up or a virtual family dinner, taking that time to connect is a great reminder that many of us are experiencing the same situation.
In Time Out magazine, they looked at the topic of connecting with friends in isolation and the different activities we can take part in when we are apart. One of these great ideas is a quiz night. You can get all your friends together on Zoom or Facetime and it can be a great opportunity to not only see friends but to have a well-earned laugh and, you never know, it could always turn into something you and your friends continue post-lockdown.
3. Limiting exposure to news
Recently co-founder of The Resilience Project, Hugh van Cuylenburg, spoke on a podcast about how he has coped with lockdowns and how others can get through them and come out stronger.
One of the ways Hugh dealt with the difficulties of a lockdown, was limiting how much television but particularly, how much news he exposed himself to.
Hugh said he doesn’t necessarily advise on cutting out watching the news completely but potentially cutting down to the basics, watching to get the latest news and Covid-19 statistics but not watching for hours, as he said it can tend to become quite a negative space after a while.
4. Moving your body
On a day like Stress Down Day and whilst many of us are facing significant restrictions due to Covid-19, it is really important to note the connection our mental health has on our physical health.
There are obvious limits on the ability to move as much as we’d like to (especially in a lockdown) but we can continue to move in different ways, and the positive impact it has on us mentally, is well worth making the effort.
Whether it be going for a walk around the block, even just to get that much-needed coffee, or making space in your living room for a workout, these all can make a real difference to our energy levels, particularly if you can get outside at least once a day, getting Vitamin-D on your face, is so good for all of us, regardless if we are in lockdown or not.
5. Looking forward
In the podcast, he took part in recently, Hugh van Cuylenburg also discussed the importance of looking forward and finding the positives.
“When you go to bed at night, think to yourself, ‘What am I looking forward to most tomorrow?’ And if you can’t think of anything, then organise something in that moment.”
It can be anything from what you will have for lunch the next day, to who you can call for a chat. Don’t underestimate the positive impact that the little things we often take for granted, can have on us during a time like this.
Overall, Covid-19 is something no one planned for, and the impact it has had and continues to have on so many of us, is also unexpected, but how we turn it into something that we can grow from and become stronger, mentally and physically, is something we can control.
We encourage you to take at least one thing away from the tips listed above, and even come up with something yourself.
If you or a loved one is struggling during this time, remember, you can call or text Lifeline anytime on 13 11 14.
Information sourced in this article: