Alongside the beginning of a new year, comes the beginning of our third national lockdown in the U.K. Receiving this news may have fragmented our high hopes for the new year, especially coming out of 2020 for self-explanatory reasons, however although many things are out of our control as of current, there are still certain things that we can put into place within our lives to help us get through yet another lockdown.
Staying home began with rigorous baking, endless yoga, and perfect picnics—10 months in, the stay-home situation is now looking very different. Although working or studying from home may be undeniably convenient and comfortable at times, this new style of life is taking its toll on millions. In November of 2020, a study shows almost half (45%) of the UK population had felt anxious or worried in the previous two weeks, which rose to 64% of respondents who have a pre-existing mental health condition.
It is more important than ever before to be taking care of your mental health. Here are a few sustainable practices that you can put into place within the following weeks to help your survive our third national lockdown:
1. Ease your thoughts with music
With the overwhelming situation that we are currently faced with, staying home can cause us to overthink, leading our minds into overdrive.
To ease these thoughts, use your newfound spare time to create a playlist that you can listen to whenever you begin to feel anxious. Fill this playlist with songs of all genres if you please, or you can make multiple playlists to match different moods.
2. Facetime friends and family as much as possible
Staying home can make us feel isolated, and although we may not be able to plan a coffee date with a friend or two to ease our feelings of loneliness as we are usually able to do, we are fortunate enough to have access to applications such as Facetime, Zoom, Instagram, and many more communicative platforms.
Take advantage of your smartphones, and use them to connect with your loved ones from a distance.
3. Refresh your mind with some fresh air
We have been advised to stay home unless we are required to leave for necessary reasons, and taking care of your mental health is most definitely a necessity.
If you are feeling demotivated or simply groggy, going for a refreshing walk may be just what you need to ease your nerves and re-awaken your mind.
4. Be gentle with yourself
We may be granted with extra time whilst being advised to stay at home, however this does not mean that you are required to push yourself to become uber-productive during these next few weeks. It is okay to take things slowly; go at your own pace.
If you aim to feel productive, start by making a small and realistic to-do list everyday whilst detaching from any pressurising thoughts. Take this process one day at a time.
5. Breathing techniques
The way that we breathe can, at times, be unnoticeably rapid, especially during stressful situations. Simply becoming aware of this and choosing to practice conscious breathwork can greatly reduce your stress levels.
When practicing breathwork, it is recommended that the length of your exhalation becomes just as long, or slightly longer than your inhalation. Try it with us now! Begin by placing your hands on your heart; now breathe in for 6 seconds, and breathe out for 6 seconds. Repeat this breathing cycle for one minute, and continue on if you desire. Watch just how much this small change can help lower your levels of stress or worry.
So far, 2021 may not be exactly what we had envisioned, however this is the beginning of the end and there truly is light at the end of the tunnel.
Remember, you are doing your very best, and if you have made it through the last 2 lockdowns, you can most definitely make it through another one. Hang in there.
Stay home, stay sassy, stay sustainable.