After almost a year of tough restrictions, the Prime Minister announced a third national lockdown in England on Monday 4 January 2021 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Unsurprisingly, during a dark and cold month that already proves tough when it comes to caring for mental health and wellbeing for many people, this news has been difficult for many people to take.
A roadmap has finally been set out for when restrictions will be lifted, but it’s really important to look after your mindset until then. In this article, we aim to provide you with a simple toolkit of tips to care for your wellbeing during this time…
1. Help others
Whether it’s offering to get groceries for someone you know is shielding, or sending someone a care package in the post, being considerate of others can help refresh your perspective.
A Legal and General survey highlighted how much we relied on each other in 2020 and revealed how many of us admired ‘Hidden Heroes’ during the first wave of the pandemic.
Human interaction can also help eradicate loneliness and create connections which are invaluable to wellbeing. So, let’s carry that through to 2021 and offer help to those in need.
2. Get outside
Of course, to be able to help others we need to look after ourselves first – getting out in nature for a walk can really help with that. Have you ever felt so stressed and harassed that your natural instinct was to get outside?
Getting natural light and fresh air can be transformative for wellbeing and Mind has a full guide on why being in nature is beneficial for your mental health.
3. Take each day as it comes
The uncertainty of a national lockdown can breed heightened worry on top of a range of confusing emotions. Therefore, simply focusing on the day ahead of you can be helpful for taking things step by step.
Whatever ‘normal’ previously was for you may have been completely turned upside down and if you’re someone that enjoys having structure, that can be tough. Therefore, creating a loose routine at the start of each day, or the previous evening can help provide a sense of purpose and normality.
4. Limit news intake
There will absolutely be things you need to know during this time, but checking the news multiple times a day isn’t always productive. Limit yourself to a check of reputable news sources once a day, or once every couple of days to avoid overexposure. Don’t worry, you definitely won’t miss anything big.
Constant checks on current events can lead to overthinking and catastrophizing and can be overwhelming. Instead, start the book you’ve been wanting to read or plug into a new podcast or audiobook if you’re struggling to concentrate on the page.
5. Move and nourish
It can feel very tempting to rely on the takeaway menu drawer and to hide under a duvet on the sofa with Netflix as company. While we’d definitely champion this occasionally, living in this way for a prolonged period of time isn’t advisable for your wellbeing.
Moving your body in a way that you enjoy will produce those invaluable endorphins. Plus, eating lots of fruits and vegetables will keep both body and mind healthy.
Doing a spot of yoga, going for a walk or run, joining an online fitness class or even hopping on a bike are not only good for exercise but also gives you something to do with your time. The same goes for cooking a delicious meal from scratch – it can be very therapeutic!
We hope these tips help with maintaining your wellbeing during this third lockdown period and beyond. Connect with others, enjoy nature, reduce your news intake, take each day as it comes and move and nourish but, most of all, be gentle with yourself.