We’re 3 weeks in.
It’s okay to be finding this time tough. We have never be prepared for a global pandemic, wasn’t in the school curriculum and no one is really sure what to do.
Lock down isn’t a productivity contest, you don’t have to spend these weeks writing your first novel, redecorating your house or solving world hunger (although if you do that final one, please let us know). Simply surviving these next few weeks and coming out the other side with a smile on your face, is a job well done.
Good days and bad days are normal.
If you’re finding that your bad days are becoming a bit more common, these are of some of my ways to pick yourself back up again:
- Go outside.Literally just step outside (or traipse down 3 flights of stairs if you live in a flat like me), and breathe in the fresh air. Appreciate your surroundings, studies have shown that just on the sight and presence of trees, our internal stress levels fall. Gotta love nature.
- Walk without distraction.Even better than just being outside, get moving. No music, no phone, no distractions. Leave the phone at home (or have it with you on flight mode), so no one can disturb you. Just go and give your head chance to organise the thoughts that are getting too loud.
- Ramp your heart rate up.This doesn’t have to be a HIIT workout or something you hate. Don’t punish yourself, do something you typically enjoy. Even if you don’t feel like it, just start. Endorphins are like a drug. Whether you’re a runner, like to lift weights or just wanna pump some loud music and dance around your kitchen. Tell yourself you’re doing 5 minutes. That’s all. See what happens.
- Take a shower and wash your hair.Yep. I’m going with this one. Wash your hair. Even if you washed it yesterday and it’s going to mess up your regimented hair washing routine. Clean fresh hair makes everything feel better. Plus I have some of my best thoughts in the shower, your next million dollar idea could be one hair wash away.
- Get real life dressed.Not back in to pyjamas or lounge wear. Put on the real life clothes you may not have touched for weeks. (My real life clothes are still active wear cos I’m not a real grown up but hopefully you are). Put on the clothes your brain associates with being productive and happy. Get yourself dressed up if you want, whatever makes you feel good.
- Play music.Silence can be deafening. Play some background music to whatever you’re doing, it really does make a difference. Just no ballads about heart break and life being hard. That won’t help. Happy music only.
- Open your windows.For the love of god, please do this one. Hot, stuffy rooms do not create an enjoyable atmosphere. Open the windows and let that fresh air in. Now.
- Go to bed. Early.One of the things I remember my mum saying to me as a kid in any time of distress was ‘just have an early night’. It sounds so simple and pointless but I swear it’s become my most used solution as an adult. It’s amazing and hilarious how much it works. When we’re overtired our brains have a harder time sorting stuff out, including how we actually feel. Give yourself a full night’s sleep, things always seem better in the morning.
Remember, no one really knows how to deal with this. Everyone is just muddling through and doing their best. Whatever you’re feeling in this time is completely justified, you don’t have to be living every second in a positivity bubble. It’s okay, and human, to feel down sometimes.
You can’t have the good, without the bad.