As we find ourselves back in lock down, in one of the hardest months of the year, it is important we do all we can to look after our mental and physical wellbeing.
Sometimes we don’t know where to start, so I have put together 10 tips. These are things that work for me, my clients and recommended by other experts, but the important thing is to build a relationship with self, so if there is something that works well for you, do that. Do whatever you need to stay healthy, happy and connected during this lock down.
Accept the moment
The more we push our feelings away, the bigger they can feel, acceptance allows us to feel the feelings and let them pass.
Normalise the feeling. Perhaps say to yourself, “I am feeling frustrated, it’s ok to feel frustrated, lots of people feel frustrated.”
This takes the power out of the emotion
Go easy on yourself
If you’re working, parenting and coping with the change, it’s unlikely you’ll have the capacity to suddenly go on that diet, redecorate the house, sort through the 10 boxes of photos etc
Getting through the day is OK.
Have clear boundaries
If you’re working from home, it can be harder to leave work in the office when you log off each evening. Try creating a place that is for work, and when work is over, either leave this space until the next day or clear it away.
Try keeping to a routine in terms of sleep and meals. Over Christmas I let myself lie in. It was great for a while, but after a few days, I noticed I craved routine and a reason to get up each day. Having a clear plan of things I’d like to do each day helps me.
If you struggle with getting enough sleep, you could try downloading a free app (I love Insight Timer) and doing YOGA NIDRA each evening or when you wake to guide you gently back to sleep.
Move your body every day
Get your heart pumping a few times a week, and move your body everyday. Yoga, dancing, walking, running… whatever it is pick something you enjoy, and tell yourself you are doing this because you matter and it’s part of taking care of you. (It shouldn’t be about losing weight, or for someone else’s approval, do what works for you).
Boost your immune system
As we go into winter, it’s key we support ourselves as much as possible.
More fruit & veg – think 15 portions a day.
Vitamin C & elderberry extract are great for boosting the immune system.
Be OK to put your needs first
If you feel yourself get snappy or irritable, take a moment to yourself and explore what is really going on, what do you need right now. It maybe something simple like more sleep or food, but often in these times our stuff is getting triggered, it’s normal. We may be feeling unappreciated, unloved, we may need some approval. Listen and see what comes up, and then give yourself this. Remind yourself you are doing great, notice the small wins, give yourself a big hug, tell yourself you are beautiful, maybe you need to dance around the kitchen and let loose – whatever it is, gift that to yourself.
And if something tricky is surfacing, get some help, you are not alone. Seeing an energetic therapist is my main self-care.
Get check-ups and support
See the doctor, the optician, the dentist if needed, don’t suffer unnecessarily.
Book an appointment with your therapist.
Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, Text: 85258
It’s free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
Samaritans: Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.
Have some FUN
What do you enjoy?
Sometimes I like to play, if I could only eat yellow / orange / red / green / blue food today what would I eat? I pretty much love thinking about food, and this is creative and as silly as I want it to be.
The key here is to make sure it’s for you, not for your kids, your partner, your parents etc
I love cooking, but I actually don’t really enjoy doing this with others, it’s a me time thing, whereas I enjoy reading out loud to others, and dancing with other people. Understanding what works for you is key.
Try calling instead of texting, better still video calls, you can book this in, sit down with a cuppa and a cake, have a café date from your sitting room or kitchen.
Give yourself this time, put the kids in front of a film, don’t get distracted by texts etc, spending time really connecting to others is so valuable.
Meet a friend for a walk and a good chat.
Write a letter or send a card to loved ones you can’t see in person. Put out into the world that which you wish to see returned.
Find a local group that offers online meetings, yoga, meditation and many more activities can be done online.