Give yourself a break and try not to feel guilty for your emotions. It’s normal to feel a little blue, so, with the last strand of motivation I have left, I’ve pulled together a list of small activities that have helped over the past 11 months.
As much as the term ‘living my best life’ peaked in the last few years, in the height of the latest lockdown, it is obvious that statement no longer serves its meaning.
Lockdown definitely has a number of positives, like being able to do your clothes washing and having food in the oven at the same time as working your 9-5. Maybe you thought this was a good time to get a pet? Or, you finally have time to practise Yoga?
However, it is no secret that every day can be mundane and monotonous. As a society, we need to be more open to talking about it, instead of pretending we’re okay, making the time pass, or ‘trotting along’, which seems to be a favourite response among my friends. And, probably yours too.
Work from home. Only have contact with those in your support bubble. Cook a meal. And another. Hope the security guard at Aldi can see you smiling under your mask. Walk the same route. See the same passers-by. Go to the Co-op just for silent human interaction. Take your time scanning the new vegan products. Ponder and be thankful we made it this far, but don’t spend too much time breathing in the same spot.
It has been a drastic life change for all of us, not to mention the detrimental effects it’s had on our mental health, along with the loss of our freedom. Plans have been ruined, important months of our lives wasted, jobs, money and most importantly, loved ones sadly lost.
We’re living in a whole history book, you’re allowed to feel down. Give yourself a break and try not to feel guilty for your emotions. It’s normal to feel a little blue, so, with the last strand of motivation I have left, I’ve pulled together a list of small activities that have helped me over the past 11 months.
Hunching over your desk from morning until dark is enough reason to not leave your flat for a few days. A lack of vitamin D ensures your tired by 3pm – a walk seems like a sprint. However, getting out and experiencing the cold air can feel a lot like being born again. Even if it’s for ten minutes, having a change of scenery can boost your whole mood, increase productivity and reduce anxiety.
Born and raised in a fast-paced society, in the past we found ourselves wanting to learn something new, but we simply didn’t have the time. One of the main positives of lockdown is we have been forced to slow down and think for moment. Learn that new thing you’ve always had in the back of your mind. Bake. Sew, take up embroidery. Play that instrument that has been gathering dust. Practise a language.
It’s understandable that sometimes reading isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially in times where your thoughts are so loud, but reading is a simple way to get away from the current state of the world. In a time when travel isn’t possible, reading the lives of your favourite characters transports you to a different time and place.
Yoga enables you to be hyper aware of everything going on in your body, it gives signals to the parts you need to work on and it is an emotional release, opening your chakras with each pose, you’ll start to feel your anxiety wash away. Yoga teachers are offering practices over Zoom – if this isn’t suited to you, there is 1000’s of YouTube videos you can work through. I’m currently completing Fable’s one-month yoga challenge. Yoga with Adriene is a favourite among the community and perfect for beginners.
If you’re struggling to sleep, a guided meditation might be exactly what you need. For beginners, please don’t give up, if you first struggle to clear your mind, this is where practise comes into play. Working on your breath and getting out of your head for ten minutes will enhance relaxation levels.
Work with your feelings to turn them into something beautiful. Creatively indulging in a personal project will keep you focused, occupied and above all, it will act as therapy.
This list just acts as a reminder, not a cure. Breathe. Speak to a friend. Scream if you have too. Plan what you’re going to do when you get out of lockdown. Nap. Nap again. Binge Netflix. Eat what the f*** you want. And, whatever you do, don’t feel guilty for the choices you make to feel more like you again.