Tips to help keep your mental health in check during lockdown
Lockdown; Change has happened. And this change is a bit of a lonely change at times.
If you are like me, you are a bit of a socialite and really enjoy being around and with people. The sudden isolation of lockdown can feel so harrowing. I have found even with all the incredible technologies out there helping me stay connected with my loved ones – lockdown isolation hard. I miss the physical connection especially as I would usually be doing activities with most of them rather than talking through a screen. During the day I spend so much time in front of a screen already for my work. Now the sudden changes in place that socialising can only really be done via a screen have sent my usually very active self into overdrive and I started feeling overwhelmed and unhappy. I couldn’t switch off from work and my sleep was really affected. From morning to late, I would be on a screen for work and for social life. I had become detached from the physical world and that had a massive impact on both my physical and mental health.
With mental health awareness week at the forefront of our minds this week. I thought I would share with you 5 tips that have really helped me get my mental and physical wellbeing back on track after the shock of lockdown. This I think can be applied to everyone but especially when working from home. I hope that one of these might help you too if you have been facing similar struggles to me!
My Top 5 Tips for helping maintain my mental health during lockdown:
So a lot of us are now working from home and suddenly the time work starts and ends can become a little fuzzy, which can lead to us becoming overworked and burning out. Exercise before and after work has been my massive way to help get my mind in check and also find a definitive start and end to the working day. Even if you aren’t working, I believe that finding some kind of routine and structure can help us feel motivated to get out of bed, not to mention all those endorphins that will be released.
Taken From Nathalie Clough Youtube Channel.
Turning exercise into my commute, not only helps me split up the day but has also made my suddenly more sedentary job less achy and uncomfortable for my back and neck. Movement is key to keeping our physical wellbeing in check. And if our body feels good our mind is more likely to feel good. So every morning I have been going for my early morning walk to clear my head and get ready to seize the day. Then my evening commute has involved something a bit more intense like HITT, cycling, running, Pilates and Yoga to blow off some steam and really focus on my mind switching off completely from work, frustrations or even missing friends and family. I’ve been setting challenges with friends to keep this social so we can do it together and share the moral support. Doing this has helped me keep my mind in check for sure and also my body is feeling fabulous too!
I personally have been loving Own your Goals and also Nathalie Clough for exercise inspiration!
Having time for you is essential for keeping your mind in check. Without our normal routine. It can be so hard to find time for you and your mind as you can always find something else to do. A few things I have been loving to help give me peace of mind is learning new recipes, reading and art. You can get creative in so many different ways but I really find this creative avenue is a great way to find peace and reconnect ourselves to our environment and aware from work.
copyright of ArtistAnd.co.uk
Painting and drawing, in all honesty, has been my main outlet to express myself during these times. Apart from working on designs, I hadn’t actually had much time this past year to actually draw/paint for joy. When lockdown began I joined the fabulous online drawing class by ArtistAnd who run free art classes online (donations are welcome too of course!). ArtistAnd founded by the fabulous China Jordan offers an opportunity to learn a new skill, brush up on old and have a good giggle with a new group of people. This group has really helped me switch off from the world and get back into something I absolutely love. Finding something that helps me switch off is key for me to help me get the rest my brain needs to be ready to take on another day.
If you are working from home, no matter if your place is big or small it can be so hard to switch off from work – if it is just there glaring at you in the face, begging you to jump back in. I find that using my handbags as a storage facility for my laptop, notebooks and pens I use every day is a great way of telling myself the day is over. Just zipping everything up and tucking it away has really helped my brain switch off from work and the pressures that come with it. Once everything is zipped up – I can’t touch it until the next day!
My favourite bag for keeping organised is the Leka Tote, with all it’s pockets keeping everything stored in sections. Helping me keep even more organised.
The one thing that has kept me going throughout these times is knowing that From Belo is making a positive impact on the world both environmentally and socially. When I am tired from work or feeling uninspired – these two core impacts of our work give me the motivation to continue. Some of my friends who have been furloughed or their plans have changed have told me that they felt lost during lockdown, worried for the future and not knowing what the next step is for them. They have been innovative and found ways to find their purpose in these strange times, either by volunteering, starting a side project or even setting themselves a challenge like fundraising. If you are feeling lost, not sure where to go this could be an opportunity to find a new purpose. Set some goals with your purpose and see what you can achieve – this can sometimes be a lot larger than you expect!
EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS
That stereotypical British “Stiff upper Lip” I think can be more negative than anything else. When I have been feeling low or overwhelmed, I’ve been talking to friends. I know this is easier said than done but talking has been such a healer. Just knowing that someone else out there is experiencing something similar – gives me reassurance that I am not crazy and Lockdown is not normal so it’s ok to have low days. Everyone I have spoken to has had them. If talking isn’t your style why not try in a different more creative way, such as painting, singing, dancing, creating music, cooking….the list goes on and on.
Hope you have found my tips on how to maintain your mental health during lockdown helpful. I would love to hear your feedback and any advice you have on how you are keeping your mental health in check.
Wishing you all good health, happiness and safety,