10 Tips To Prevent Lockdown Sadness
Coronavirus is affecting all of our lives. It's Mental Health Awareness Week and taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important while staying at home. Here are some top tips to help you stay positive during lockdown.
1. Stay Active
Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that help improve your mood. If you exercise regularly, it can reduce your stress and anxiety. The World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. By taking short, active breaks throughout the day, you can still achieve this while at home. There is an abundance of free resources online such as equipment-free workouts on YouTube, or paid instructor led online exercise classes. If you are not in a high risk category or live with someone who is, simply go for a socially distanced walk.
2. Stay Connected
There are lots of ways that we can stay in touch with family and friends to prevent feeling socially isolated. Social media and video call apps such as Facetime, WhatsApp, Houseparty and Zoom can keep you connected. Perhaps hold a virtual games night? Or even go ‘Old School’ – write a letter or postcard to a friend or relative.
3. Learn a new skill
Never has there been a better time to teach yourself something new. Have you always wanted to learn a new craft, or perhaps you would like to practise the art of baking? Now is the time to start. Learn to play a musical instrument, with the likes of Brian May teaching Queen classics on Instagram and Myleene Klass’s home music lessons on YouTube & Instagram. Why not pick up a skill like sign language via an online tutorial so that you can communicate better with deaf friends or relatives.
4. Sunlight and Fresh Air
During lockdown, sunlight and fresh air is vital for our mental health, to prevent us feeling trapped. If you have a garden or a balcony, spend some time there each day. If it is safe to do so, go out once a day for a socially distanced walk if you can. If this is not possible for you, draw back your curtains and blinds and open up your windows for some fresh air.
5. Write Down Your Thoughts
Many people have taken to writing a diary during these unprecedented times. It can be soothing to write down your feelings both good and bad. Make some time for yourself to reflect and be mindful.
6. Don’t be hard on yourself
If you find you are struggling with the more difficult tasks that come your way during lockdown, try concentrating on the ones that you find easy. Stick to a routine, make your bed in the morning, put the washing away, and wash up. At the end of the day, list the things that you have accomplished, rather than focus on the things you have not.
7. Change Your Social Media Consumption
Avoid speculating. There is so much misinformation about COVID 19 across the internet & social media, that spending too much time on these platforms can make you feel panicked. Equally there are also lots of inspirational and community spirited stories on social media too. Embrace the good and mute or block anything that isn’t helping your mental health.
8. Alcohol Intake
With pubs, bars and restaurants closed, you may find you are drinking more alcohol at home than you usually would. If you become concerned about your alcohol intake, try to talk it through with members of your household and perhaps agree a routine of other activities that will help occupy your time other than drinking. If you feel your relationship with alcohol is becoming unhealthy, Drinkaware have a range of free support services which can provide help and advice.
9. Don’t Get Fixated On Lockdown Achievements
As we previously said, lockdown is a great opportunity to try something new, however you shouldn't feel like you are failing if you don’t choose to spend your time learning a new language or developing your home pottery skills. Sometimes the best way to cope with the difficulties of self-isolation is to continue with what makes you happy. Whether it is simply reading a book, or watching your favourite show on TV. Don’t feel you need to compete with everyone on social media bragging about their lockdown achievements.
10. Ask for help
If you find that you cannot lift a feeling of sadness, it is very important to reach out and ask for help. There are many organisations that you can turn to during this time. Two great support groups to start with are Mind and Samaritans.