Looking after yourself in a winter lockdown

happy mother and daughter stretching together at home

With all of the UK now in lockdown, it’s important that we take time to care for ourselves. Lockdown is never easy, but this one coming in the depths of winter is even harder. With the weather not so inviting, many of us will spend endless hours in our homes. Whether you are alone or with family, it’s vital that we are kind to ourselves and practice good self-care.

Time away from our normal lives, with little or no social interaction, can cause untold stresses and wreak havoc with our mental health. Remember we are all sailing on the same seas, there is support out there if you are struggling and together we will get through this. One day, hopefully in the not too distant future, we’ll be able to meet our loved ones again and live life to the fullest.

In the meantime, here are some ideas to help you

  • Keep a good daily rhythm – you might not have to get up at 7 am now, but sleeping in can mess your body rhythms. Get up at a similar time each day, and try to go to bed around the same time.
  • Be social – while we can’t physically meet up we can get together via phone, skype, zoom – even just checking on social media so we feel connected.
  • Move your body – get out for a walk, a run, a bike ride – whatever floats your boat. Fresh air, daylight, and exercise make everything feel better. If you’re cycling for fitness, use monitoring apps or tools to check on your progress. An example is a cycling power meter, a device that lets you stay on track with your fitness goals.
  • Plan things to look forward to – be it a movie night, a crafternoon, a zoom party with friends… little things to break up your week and brighten your day.
  • Remember the basics – drink enough water, eat some healthy food, get some sleep.
  • Use your time wisely – if you suddenly find yourself with more time at home than you’d usually have, think about what you’d like to do with it. You could learn a new skill – but equally, you could use it to read all those books you’ve been wanting to read, watch the movies you want, sort your photos out, do some DIY… there is no right or wrong, but use it in a way that makes you happy.
  • Listen to your feelings, know they are valid, and be understanding of yourself.
  • If you’re a parent suddenly with kids at home – don’t feel you have to do ‘school at home’. A little work goes a long way, they learn more through life skills {ie cooking, playing, reading, talking} than from any worksheets and they will catch back up.
  • Don’t fret about screen time – it’s January, cold and there is nothing much else to do.
  • Switch off social media/the news sometimes. Too much information can fry our brains and make us more anxious.
  • Plan little pockets of joy in your days – baking a cake, reading a book, hugging your pet. Whatever puts a smile on your face.

If you are struggling, don’t be afriad to adsk for help. A friend or family member, me, or call 03001233393. Don’t suffer alone.

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