Do you remember yourself in December 2019? What were you planning for the upcoming 2020? Did you book any holidays for the year ahead and what were your new year resolutions for 2020? I guess you are smiling now as you are reading these lines.
Whatever each of us planned for 2020 was bound to change and look somewhat different from what was planned. A coronavirus situation unravelling so quickly and dramatically into a lockdown in the UK that is still in force made us realise how fragile our world and our daily routines are. How easily they can be attacked, destroyed and moulded into something else.
The world has changed but so have we. We have learnt to work from home, to shop and stay away from people at least 2 metres apart, to be reserved and not engage in long conversations or no conversations at all with strangers, to do birdwatching online, to call our family and friends rather than see them in person and even bury our loved ones “online”.
This new reality has left many feeling isolated, lonely and depressed. Some have learnt to cope in some ways with the current situation, others are struggling. The uncertainty about “when it will all end” and if and when we will go back to normal is troubling many people these days. Five months down the line and there is still no clarity.
So how to deal with the lockdown blues?
Here are 15 ways that you could try and see if they work for you. They do for me!
Take care of your body
It has never been so important as now to continue taking a good care of our bodies in these stressful times. If you have neglected your body, it is time to start looking after it.
As we are in the lockdown, we spend more time in isolation than before and if you experience self-hatred and do not love your body, this lockdown period can be very stressful.
Your body needs love and care. Why not start with a few bits to make it feel better?
Tip 1: Sort your diet, watch your weight
First, it has never been more important than now to sort your diet and watch your weight. If your diet is a mess and your body does not receive nutritious food with all essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, then it will also affect how your immune system can respond to a newly virus SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19. It is of paramount importance then to analyse what you are eating and try to switch to healthier options.
If weight loss comes as a bonus to these changes, it could be great too. As we have all recently heard people who are overweight do not tend to fight COVID-19 as well as people of healthy weight.
Keep yourself hydrated throught the day to avoid headache and other symptoms of dehydration. You can read about the importance of water for our bodies in my free guide.
Give yourself a better chance of standing up for yourself by adjusting your diet and lifestyle.
Tip 2: Exercise regularly
Don’t underestimate the power of exercise, even if it is just a few work-out exercises at home for 20-30 minutes or something more substantial in the open air.
Yoga or pilates can be very relaxing for some people.
I personally love long walks. You get both- a great work out and fresh air. As a bonus, you get to see some wildlife too!
Exercising will make you feel not only better about yourself and your body but it will also take your mind off various worries and increase your stress resistance as a result.
Tip 3: Pamper yourself
One of the things I love doing is to lie in a hot bath with foam, candles around, sipping tea and reading some useful content or listening to soothing music. It is fantastically relaxing!
Pampering is important during the lockdown because we miss so many things that we used to have when life was “normal”. Treat yourself to something pleasurable that will also be good for your body.
Remember we have only one body and it is our responsibility to look after it or start looking after it!It is never too late, so start now!
Take care of your mind and soul
Constantly watching coronavirus updates in the UK can drive anybody mad, especially when it comes to the death toll stats. It is a good practice to watch news only once a day or once in a few days in once to get the latest updates instead of constantly devoting your time, energy and resources to it.
Concentrating your mind on positive things will make you feel less stressed and more in control.
It is within our control to choose whether to continue entertaining negative thoughts about the current situation or weed them out. Balance is the key.
So how can we take care of our soul and mind?
Tip 4: Get into a routine and stick to it
Routine is so essential for our mental well-being that it cannot be underestimated. The reason why so many people struggled and are struggling with the lockdown is because their routines have been meddled with and a new “lifestyle” is something difficult to adjust to.
If you work from home, it is a good practice to wake up an hour or two before your working day starts to have an opportunity to take a shower, have a face mask to hydrate your skin and enjoy your breakfast without any rush.
What also helps is to put on make-up, fragrance and your normal office clothes to make you feel a professional, the usual stuff you did prior to lockdown, right?
Having this routine in place s good for our mental well-being. It makes us feel more organised and in control of our lives.
Tip 5: Taking regular breaks in between
When we were in the office prior to the lockdown, we interacted with our colleagues, could walk to the office kitchen and back, and had a break. Now we see our colleagues on the screen, the surroundings we are in are the same most of the time.
It is important to take breaks during the hours that we are working, even though we are working from homes now.
Taking breaks is productive in the long-term as it helps our mind to concentrate better on a task when we are back to work after a break rather than trying to complete everything in one go.
Tip 6: Try new recipes
If you have never cooked before, it is a great time to try and learn how to! Switching to healthy home-made meals is a great way to lose weight but also to maintain a healthy weight.
If you are a good cook, then you could try new recipes and impress the members of your family!
Learning new recipes is fun as it allows not only to try something new and enjoy our food, but also improves our cooking skills and takes our mind off different worries and concerns.
Tip 7: Join humour groups and forums
Keeping a sense of humour can save our lives in uncertain situations like now.
So why not join a few humour groups and forums on Facebook or Whatsapp?
Keeping connected with people at this time and being able to have a laugh is so vital now!
Tip 8: Books, films, documentaries
Reading interesting books, watching documentaries or films that you find interesting and/or have not been able to watch before the lockdown is a great option to keep yourself busy and possibly productive as well.
Who knows what ideas you will get after reading or watching something on your list?
Maybe it will spark an interest in a new field for you and inspire you for your next project.
Keep your options open.
Tip 9: Develop yourself and your interests
Now that we have “all the time in the world” during this lockdown situation, we have time to contemplate and see if what we have been doing in our lives is actually something that we want to continue to be doing.
Crisis always destroys our old realities but crisis is also always a stepping stone for something new and possibly beautiful.
See if you have developed a few new interests in life since the beginning of the lockdown. Maybe they are worth pursuing further?
Or maybe you were so busy with your job before the lockdown that you even had no time to stop and think whether it makes you feel happy and satisfied.
Lockdown could be an eye-opener in this scenario as you have an opportunity to sit still and reflect.
Tip 10: Online courses
If you have developed a few new interests or hobbies during the lockdown, why not try an online course in that particular field?
Learning something new is really stimulating for our brain and it makes life interesting and fun!
Tip 11: Company
I know that we don’t have as many people to enjoy the company of as we had before the lockdown, for various reasons, but just remember that communicating with those who respect you and support you is essential for our mental well-being.
Maybe lockdown is a great opportunity to look around and doublecheck if the people you were previously close to are actually your “best” friends.
Tip 12: Music
What about your music list? Has it been updated since the lockdown began or are you still listening to the same artists over and over again? Try experimenting and see if you can discover something new and beautiful.
Soothing music is a great tool for relaxation.
From sounds for sleep, meditation music to forest birdsong and rainforest sounds.
Check it out and see if it works for you!
Tip 13: Prayer/religious texts
Many people find comfort in reading religious texts and maybe you could try it out too.
Prayer is a personal choice and maybe reading a religious text will put you in a mood for prayer which is a source of peace and contentment for many.
Tip 14: Taking trips to interact with nature
Humans can find a lot of comfort in watching birds, animals and interacting with nature in general.
Just a short walk in the countryside park or a trip to see wild deers or horses will put the mind at ease and make you see things from another perspective.
Watching the sea is also a great way to relax, clear your mind and find some inspiration within the calmness of yourself.
Tip 15: Professional help
If you really struggle and would like professional help, you could use the services of a professional psychologist or/and psychotherapist.
There are numerous online services of charities that offer confidential advice and support throughout this pandemic.
Here are a few UK based charities:
Mind provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem: https://www.mind.org.uk/
AnxietyUK offers services via their helpline and are happy to support people during these strange times: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/about-us/vacancies/
SupportLine offers emotional support to any individual. Telephone, email and post support are available to children, young adults and adults: https://www.supportline.org.uk/
YoungMinds has a helpline service as well as email and web chat service options to help children and young people throughout this crisis:
The Brain Charity provides emotional support as well as practical help to people with a neurological condition, to their carers, family and friends: https://www.thebraincharity.org.uk/
Here is a list of organisations that offer mental health services in the USA:
A list of Mental Health America contacts according to the state:
National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI) per state:
At times like this we are all concerned with various aspects of the current situation. However, we should not forget about our mental integrity and keep the balance between our body, mind and soul.
Try the tips above and it could be that you will find yourself feeling much better than before!
I will go into the details of relationship/marriage issues during the lockdown and how to handle them in the upcoming article. So subscribe and be the first to get a notification for it!
And remember, we are always up for a friendly chat in our forum here
So if you are trying to make sense of the current Covid-19 pandemic and want a non- judgemental conversation, feel free to join our forum and raise your concerns, suspicions, etc there!
Stay safe and don’t forget to take care of yourself and your body.