Just continuing with Part 2 of 14 Awesome Tips for coping with lockdown and social distancing.
Even though it’s a struggle, its not for ever. Also we need know that we are doing it for the health of the community. That includes our family, our neighbours, doctors, nurses, keyworkers etc.
Take care of others
There are benefits of helping others but it this is about altruism where you are selfless and concerned with the welfare of others. Helping others can also make you happy, it can help lower blood pressure, and also gives you a sense of purpose and satisfaction. The only thing you need to watch is that it isn’t too your detriment also you are not expecting much in return.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank
- Take shopping to a person on your street who is vulnerable
- Ask your neighbour if they are alright and if they need any help –
Willpower alone won’t be enough to help you to start exercising. Trying to adopt some simple strategies that you can do long term will benefit your emotional health:
- Little and often is best as it is better to exercise for just about 15/20 minutes a day rather than two hours a week.
- There are plenty of youtube videos to get you started and there are loads you can do quietly at home to not disturb anyone elose
- Try and have some variety and try and keep it fun. There is something out there for you to enjoy.
- Planning ahead to incorporate into your day and your week will help. Keep your gym clothes ready
- Try and get support and encouragement from others (even if it is online).
- Last but not least, keep it simple.
Use your time allowance to be outside, especially in the sunshine
- Try and make a commitment to be with outside and if you are lucky enough to be near countryside, make the most of it.
- You also don’t need to be a seasoned gardener to enjoy gardening and to get the benefits of it.
- Sunshine is well document for benefiting your mental health as it creates Vitamin D which both good for your immunity and your mental health. Spending time in the sunshine is VITAL at this time and I can’t stress it enough.
- Research has shown that there are therapeutic benefits of nature for mental health and wellbeing.
- Spending time outdoors is a great self-care activity either on your own or with other people.
- Remember journalling is for you to write down your thoughts, feelings, experiences, worries, fears, anger, etc.
- Don’t be too concerned about grammar, your spelling or perfect punctuation.
- To get the most out of it try and ensure you are doing this privately without any distractions, you don’t need to journal your experiences – just journal how it made you feel (use the feeling wheel if you are stuck)
- Keep your journal private for your eyes only
- Use 15 minutes to write out your thoughts about anything bothering you. Then burn or throw away the paper.
In these current times you may find this difficult but this would be something that would really help you get through this.
Gratitude helps to put you in a positive frame of mind, even if it is for the few minutes that you are thinking about it. Plus it has so many benefits for our mental and physical health including reducing our stress levels. Over time, doing this consistently and regularly, it would improve your outlook on the world. There are several ways you can do this.
- You can just write about five different things you are grateful for in your journal on a daily basis;
- Write down five things you are grateful for and keep re-reading the same ones on a daily basis.
- Or you could this could be part of your daily meditation practice where you take time out and just think about what you are grateful for. No matter what strategy you choose, just ensure you are doing it daily.
- Remind yourself of the good stuff in life by writing a list of things you’re grateful to have. Then post it somewhere you can see it often to help refocus your emotions when you feel down.
Learn something new
Research has shown that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem, helping you to build a sense of purpose, helping you to connect with others
Ideas to add learning to your life can include:
- Making a commitment to read books regularly
- Learn a new board game you’ve never played, such as chess, Monopoly, Scrabble
- Get some inspiration by reading stories of people who overcame adversity.
- Join an adult education class online. There are tons available on Udemy, Groupon etc
- Listen to a chapter or two from an audiobook.
Be careful about what you Think and See
We need to deliberately filter the constant stream of news on the big word. Have you noticed I haven’t mentioned that word once in this article?
Just remember that we have the power to do a lot to minimise the impact they have on us. We can also intentionally filter in more positivity in our lives.
- Minimise watching the news, high dramas or horror films. What you need to ask yourself is Are these television programmes uplifting me? Can you do anything about the information they are giving you? How does it make you feel after you are watching it?
- Write encouraging affirmations or inspirational quotes on Post-its and place them where you will see them every day.
- This, I need to say, includes excluding or reducing those videos and articles on conspiracy theories which to me can just add even more fear and confusion. Feel free to ask people courteously not to send you them.
- Disconnect from negative people on social media or mute them
- Follow people on social media that displays post that uplift and encourage you
I sincerely hope you got something from these tips to help you manage lockdown and social distancing will help you through these difficult times. As usual, let me know what you think by contacting me through my website or on social media.
I am a Therapist based in Sutton Coldfield, UK also available online.
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