Take Care of Yourself!
Lockdown 2.0 - Mental Health Tips
It seems like only yesterday we headed back into the office and started to embrace the ‘new normal’, but here we are in lockdown once again, the days of banana bread baking and Joe Wicks work-outs upon us once more. Although it’s important to protect our NHS and keep everybody safe, it’s equally as important to look after ourselves, our family and friends during the winter lockdown, as anybody’s mental health could be negatively affected by staying indoors and having their routines disrupted. I’m going to share some of my top tips on how we can look after our mental health during lockdown 2.0.
The thing I find most important not to put any pressure on ourselves to keep busy. Of course, if you can find ways to keep busy inside and feel up to it then that’s great, but if you find your way to the couch with your duvet for a Netflix binge, that’s great too! Don’t put pressure on yourself to keep busy and be productive 24/7, just embrace each day as it comes and see what your body and mind feel like doing. Social media has a lot to answer for in making your favourite influencers and even your friends look like they are being busy and productive, but chances are they’re relaxing just as much as you! Remember that people only tend to broadcast their achievements, so don’t feel bad for relaxing more than you think others are. I’m sure there’s a series you have been dying to binge but haven’t had the time, or a book that’s been sat on your shelf for years.
It’s no secret that exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mind as well as your body, so I think it’s especially important to exercise when we can. By exercise I don’t mean going for long runs or collapsing on the floor after a 20-minute fat burner, but simply going for a short walk once a day may help to keep you grounded and slightly more sane! Taking a different route each day could help to keep things more exciting and less like a chore, and playing your favourite music, podcast or audiobook can make the walk more enjoyable. Some days you may not feel like walking which is fine; we are having quite a tame November so far, so popping out to the garden for ten minutes of fresh air would definitely cut it on those lazy days.
Something I have been practicing often that I have found solace in is yoga and meditation. This technique doesn’t work for everybody, but for those that it does work for, it’s a holy grail! If you haven’t tried it before then now may be the time – there are some great free apps to practice with such as Headspace and Yoga for Beginners, and there’s also some good tutorials on YouTube too. Yoga and meditation are great for relaxing, de-stressing and clearing your mind. For those of us who struggle to get to sleep due to being too busy over-thinking and worrying, yoga before bedtime really can be a God send.
Another piece of advice I would give is to try and achieve just one thing a day. Setting goals that are reachable instead of having a to-do-list as long as your arm gives a better sense of accomplishment and will help you feel more positive. Your goal can be as simple as reading two chapters of a book or going for a morning walk, to more time-consuming things like cleaning out your wardrobe or cooking a meal from scratch. If you complete this goal and feel like cracking on with more then go for it, it’s always a great feeling to over-achieve! Often when you finish a task you feel more productive to do more, but I will also re-iterate that it’s okay to have a lazy days too.
This last point may sound very cliché, but for some people it really helps to remember that everybody in the country is in the same boat. We often go through struggles that we think no one understands or has been through, but the best way we can conquer this event is as a community! We all know how it feels to miss loved ones, to miss grabbing your coffee and heading to work and to be searching the house for things to keep us occupied, so don’t feel like you’re alone. If you feel yourself struggling, do try to reach out to a loved one, because suffering alone is likely to hinder your mental health even more. Sometimes just sharing how you’re feeling can take the weight off your shoulders, and chances are the person you’re sharing with can somewhat relate to your feelings!
Remember, here at Georgie Smedley Group, we're here if you need a nail or non-nail related chat.
Great resources for mental health: