Whilst it may be true to say that a 'lockdown' might control the spread of Coronavirus, the negative effects on our physical and metal health should not be ignored.
According to the Office of National Statistics, more than two thirds of adults in the UK (69%) report feeling somewhat or very worried about the effect Covid-19 is having on their life.
The most common issues affecting wellbeing are worry about the future (63%), feeling stressed or anxious (56%), and feeling bored (49%).
So, how can we survive and thrive through this lockdown?
Lockdown implies that there are now things we cannot control. There are things we simply can no longer do. Lockdown offers us the opportunity to re-focus. Try not to think about what you cannot do or control, think about the things you CAN do and control. You may be surprised.
Our regular routines will be interrupted. It is healthy to develop new routines. Set times for waking, mealtimes, exercise times, leisure time, family time. Stick to your new structure. Make time in your schedule for a Digital Detox. With a focus on everything digital all day long, you will likely need it.
3. Try to keep yourself in the present
Over-thinking the future may lead to excessive anxiety, so doing things to keep you in the here and now may help. Go out in nature, do some grounding exercises, meditate, do some gardening. Recognise the power of your thoughts and the choice you have about the way you deal with those thoughts.
4. Self Care
The basics are important. Get up, get washed, get dressed, eat healthily, watch your alcohol intake, get a good night's sleep. It is easy for things to go astray - so ensure you attend to the basics.
Healthy eating is a cornerstone of this. Watch out for developing bad habits. Snack healthy! Avoid sugary cakes and sweets. Concentrate on natural options wherever possible. There are plenty of healthy eating resources to help you online.
As someone who has spent most of his life maintaining a sedentary lifestyle, I have found in the last year that exercise is really important in maintaining mental as well as physical health. Set yourself a goal with this. How about couch to 5k? Or doing online workouts?
Personally, I have turned to walking, and I have found that a 10,000 step target has been really helpful. I came across a really interesting suggestion yesterday that we could do a 'virtual commute'. This involves spending the time we would have spent commuting, by simply walking around your local area. This is a great way to bring some activity into your life, and you may just discover some things you never knew about! Walking Works!
5. Be Creative
Make time for hobbies, for nature, art, music, reading, knitting, listening to a podcast. Try something new. How about cooking or baking, take up gardening (even in the winter there are jobs to do!), or get that DIY done that you have been putting off?
Be kind to yourself. Notice the inner critic in your head and turn his or her volume down. Let go of blame and guilt - you don't have to be perfect, it's unrealistic. When you find yourself stressed, work out what helps, and practice that - make it a daily habit to do this, and in turn be kind to yourself.
Be kind to others. Be community minded, whether that is amongst your family and friends, or beyond into the community - there are ways you can do this and stick to the rules. One of the key things is to talk to people - use the phone, have zoom meetings - even just saying hello to the people you pass whilst exercising can promote a sense of well-being. Talking Works!
If you are struggling and feel you have no one to talk to, there are people you can talk to.
In a crisis, there are a number of helplines :
Samaritans 116 123
Anxiety UK 03444 775 774
Mind UK 0300 123 3393
Hull and East Yorkshire Mind 01482 240133
Calm 0800 58 58 58
Childline 0800 11 11
You can also seek the help of a talking therapist - counselling, psychotherapy and coaching can help you through lockdown. In these times, talking therapies are either on the phone or online. You may think this is not as good as a face to face meeting - you may be surprised! I can help with this, and I'm happy to offer a FREE consultation to anyone who would like to find out more. You can book this online using the "BOOK FREE CONSULTATION" button above, or contact me using the details below.
Phone : 07581088211
Email : email@example.com
Web : www.talkingworks.uk
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