Self-care has never been more important.
Melbourne braces for an extended lockdown with tighter restrictions while New South Whales continues to battle the Delta strain causing problems all around the world. We aren’t entertaining another pandemic article here, we are breaking down the best way to keep you sane during lockdown. Self care is paramount right now. We aren’t conditioned to thrive in an environment where rules and regulations prevent us from being socially active. This means catching up with friends, going out for dinner and living our lives the way we have for so many years. The key to lockdown is keeping busy, we aren’t saying plan traps for anyone looking to burgle your house during Christmas, however, we can take a leaf out of Home Alone when speaking a matter of creating fun for ourselves during lockdown.
It’s easy to spiral into a frenzied panic. We know how you feel. However, there are ways to help combat the effects of lockdown. Most of this centres around keeping busy, being honest with how you feel, and cutting yourself not just a little slack, a lot of it. We all have dreams, aspirations and the travel bug. The world has become a different place to the one we knew a few years ago. Not many of us ever thought we would find ourselves stuck in the middle of a pandemic. This has meant many lives have been lost, and many lives have experienced dramatic changes. In the grand scheme of things, not travelling, or not being able to catch up with friends can seem trivial. However, mental health has proven to be a far more difficult nemesis than the global pandemic.
Again, this isn’t to say the pandemic hasn’t inflicted mortal damage and sweeping grief across the globe, we are simply stating our lives have changed. Travelling is off the cards, as is many other luxuries we have taken for granted. We thought we would break down our list for an easier lockdown. Here are the top things to keep in mind while going through lockdown.
- It’s okay if you aren’t as productive as you hope
This is perhaps the most important point to living through a lockdown. We have such high expectations of ourselves. This could be for our careers, our family, or just to prove a point to yourself. While these expectations are fantastic to carry, during a lockdown they aren’t your best friend. This means the following, if you have a bad day and can’t seem to get through everything, don’t worry. It isn’t the end of the world, there will be a tomorrow, and you will rise again to finish what you didn’t the day before. Be easy on yourself, and remember, you aren’t functioning in the same circumstances you have for most of your life.
2. Prioritise exercise
If you don’t exercise usually, now is your chance to do so. Lockdown allows you to spend a heap of time in your own head. This isn’t good for anyone, and has never been a great way to spend your time. How do we combat this? Get moving. Walk, run or lift. Whatever it is that will get you out of your head and breathing fresh air. Besides the fact you will be moving, exercise releases serotonin in our bodies. Serotonin is the key hormone that stabilises our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. This hormone impacts your entire body. It enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other. Serotonin also helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. Do not underestimate the power of exercise. Try aim for 45 minutes a day, even if it’s something light. Also remember, if you miss a day, it’s okay!
3. Get creative / create a hobby
Lego, puzzles, paint, music or games. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, just choose one. There’s plenty to keep your mind busy, and out of your own labyrinth of thoughts. Living through lockdown is all about keeping you from focusing on you. This means getting creative. Painting is a fantastic way to get those creative juices flowing.
4. Eat Clean
Just like exercise, what we put into our body can govern our mood and energy. Making sure we keep eating clean, and putting the right nutrients into our body will help us deal with lockdown moods. Greens are important, put some colour on your plate.
5. Have Sex
Yes, you read right. Sex can have a major impact on improving day to day well being. Better sleep, an improved immune system, lower blood pressure, a decrease in depression and calorie burning make this a no brainer during lockdown. If you are single, be sure to check your intimate partner is healthy and also make sure you are healthy, so not to put both of you at risk of anything that may be unforeseen or cause additional stress. If you are in a relationship or married this should be easier, in which case get active under the sheets or on top of them, whatever floats your boat.
6. Sleep More
This is the most important one of them all. Sleep literally governs how we feel both mentally and physically. A lack of sleep leads to stress and a whole bunch of nasty elements we don’t need when living through a lockdown. Be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep each night.