This post is a little different from the things I usually write about. However in this challenging time, its important for me as someone with a little influence, to promote healthy living, positivity and general well-being. Disclaimer: A lot of this post is not a reflection of the life I lead, more the life I wish I lead so if you’re at all thinking I have my shit together, think again!
We all thought that 2021 would be better than 2020, and so far it just feels like more of the same. The UK is back into a full lockdown which is probably going to be here until February/March at the earliest, white supremacists are terrorising Washington DC and everywhere you look there is just bad news.
On the days I feel overwhelmed I find myself reminding myself that we have got through this already. If we did it once, twice already, then we are strong enough to do it again. So to try and encourage both myself, and anyone else who is struggling, I want to use this post to highlight all the things that have got me through the last lockdowns and use it as a guide to survival for all of us.
I really hope this helps anyone who is struggling.
A bit of a cliché I know, but it really does make a difference. Getting up and going to sleep at regular times helps immensely with mental health. I really try and get out of bed by 10am (I know this is pretty late for most people but this is my routine, next week I will try and be up earlier!). When I do get myself up by this time I don’t feel like I have slept the day away so much.
The first thing I still do is make myself a coffee before doing a little skincare routine. I’m not really wearing makeup right now, just enough so that when we undoubtedly get a delivery the postman doesn’t think I’m a zombie opening the door. (Let me know if anyone is interested in skincare bits and I can do a post on it).
Usually at this point I make a mental list of any jobs I need to get done in the house. Going forward I think I’m going to start writing them down as I’ve read that this helps you stay on track and not avoid it. By writing it, it solidifies it as a task and the joy of ticking it off boosts serotonin.
I’m also really working on getting dressed as soon as I get up. I know this is such a silly thing but when I’m in a slump, getting dressed is such an effort for me. Just by changing from comfy PJs to comfy day wear I feel like such a more put together human being.
Have meals at meal times. This is one that comes with poor mental health. When I’m in a bad place I find myself absent of hunger so really making sure I eat at normal times helps keep me in check.
I also feel like my day revolves around hot drinks! Black coffee on a morning, English breakfast tea during the afternoon, and then either peppermint or lemon and ginger with honey tea before bed!
And finally I always make sure I wash my face at the end of the day. I don’t really have a skincare routine but just by washing my face with a cleanser (if I’m feeling fancy, usually just water) I feel like I have accomplished something and feel fresh when going to bed.
Get some exercise
When I say exercise, I do not mean running 10k everyday. But going for just a short walk around the block, or walking to the corner shop is so beneficial for mindset as well as getting some exercise. Having a daily walk in my routine is so important as you end up climbing the walls if you don’t leave them often enough!
But also doing a more strenuous activity such as running or a home workout is also going to be so good for you. But just because its January doesn’t mean you need to put pressure on yourself to get fit. New year same you is more than fine!
I cannot stress enough the importance of this aspect. It is perhaps the MOST important thing on this list. The world is a mess right now. With everything going on it is so easy to forget to take care of yourself. Fitting it into everyday, or having a weekly session is vital for mental health.
Whether its a long pamper bath with a bottle of wine, watching trashy TV, binging on all the Christmas sweets or all of the above at the same time! Whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed and decompressed do it. Make time for it. And don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing your best!
Something to look forward too
Having something to look forward too is something that I have taken for granted in recent years. At this moment in time I have nothing good coming up. In the last few months, Christmas was something I was really excited about, and then things started going downhill with the cases rising. The feeling of excitement I usually get from the anticipation of something can motivate me in work and daily life. Being excited about something and longing for something is such a huge part of my positive and healthy mindset.
With international travel being so uncertain and not knowing when we will come out of this lockdown and be able to travel nationally means we simply cannot book something to look forward too.
Instead we look forward to having a take away on a weekend or watching a good film. Appreciation for the little things have became so important to help us get through. Having to adjust our mindset is a huge task but it needs to be done in order to survive this!
Have days off or down-time
This mainly applies to people working from home but, for myself also having a weekend which is different from the rest of the week is really important. Our daily walk is longer and to somewhere slightly different than just around the block. We have cosy film nights with snacks. And just try and act like we usually would on a weekend.
On an evening switching off the laptop and shutting off from work is something we really need to grasp. Compartmentalising the various aspects of our life is much more of a challenge right now as the lines between work and home are blurred. But this makes it so much more important to do!
Keep your space tidy
Whether you have a home office or you’re working on your dining room table, keeping things organised is so good for mindset. Its crazy how much of an impact our house being a mess has on my mental health.
I’m also trying to be better with the washing because I have the worst habit of leaving it all then doing 5 loads in one day and having it all to put away! So don’t do that!!
If anyone has any tips on creating a cleaning schedule I’d love to hear it!
Talk to someone
Whether it is someone you live with or someone from another household, a pet, a therapist or Siri. Talk to SOMEONE! Check in on people and allow yourself to open up about how you’re feeling. Even if you have nothing to say. Especially if you have nothing to say! Just keep talking, or trying to. Because when we stop talking that’s when all the emotions build up.
I really hope this post helps you just keep going. My inboxes are always open if you need someone to talk to. Please reach out. I’m also going to link below some mental health support pages for you should you feel you need them!
Please stay safe, and stay sane!