We are two months into lockdown in the U.K. I live in Wales so the rules are the same as they have always been at the moment. England is currently following different and more relaxed lockdown measures to us at the moment. Hence, I am still stuck in my house as I was furloughed back in March. Not that I am complaining as I do believe safety comes first right now and I am very lucky to have been furloughed as many people are losing their jobs right now. At the moment, I go out shopping once a week and try and go for a walk as much as possible as it helps me feel a bit better when I get out into the fresh air. I am also occasionally going for a bike ride which is a hobby I always said I didn’t have time for before, so I am glad to get back into that.
I have noticed that people either hate or love lockdown. At first, I loved it as I saw it as an opportunity to pick up hobbies that I felt I was missing out on like blogging, cycling, reading and baking. I also get stressed very easily at work so I feel like I needed a break from that. I finished university a year ago so it also gave me an opportunity to finally think about what career I want to pursue and to do research into different areas.
However, now that I have decided on one of the career opportunities I want to pursue, I just want this to be over. I am also quite angry that we went into lockdown so late and that the restrictions have never been as strict as other countries, and that the rules have always been extremely vague. Over time is has become more and more difficult to motivate myself to do anything and I have found myself oversleeping and feeling more empty and depressed. This lockdown has also often made me feel like my life has less purpose than before.
So, I would like to discuss the things I have been doing to keep on top of my mental health during this difficult time:
First of all, it’s important to say that lockdown is not bootcamp, so it is important not to pressure yourself into, for example, losing weight or something like that. There’s no need to pressure yourself into completing numerous tasks because it really is difficult to keep on top of things at the moment unless you are super human. This is a difficult time and sometimes people forget this and think they have to do all these self improvement activities just because they have free time.
Basically, what I have been focusing on is just giving myself some sense of purpose, no matter what this means to me. I have done this by setting myself some simple goals like learning to make brownies, completing a game that I never had time to complete before and writing this blog post. At the beginning of lockdown I had some ridiculous goals such as ‘lose half a stone’ and ‘write a book’, which was obviously never going to happen as I was pressuring myself to do too much. Now, I have just accepted that I may put on weight during lockdown but that doesn’t mean I still don’t look great and that it is more important that I am just healthy by getting out and stretching my legs when I can, eating a healthy diet and avoiding binge drinking too often. Furthermore, I definitely don’t have enough motivation to write a book now so I just dropped that goal completely. If I ever do write a book then it will probably be short and will be written in small chunks because this is a massive task which is very likely to overwhelm me.
It has also been important for me to keep some kind of routine. For example, making lunch at the same time everyday and doing the dishes. I clean the house on Thursday or Friday every week and make sure to blast some music as this keeps me motivated as I dance with the hoover. I also aim to go cycling on a sunny day once a week because I really enjoy cycling and being out in the sun, so I end up feeling better for it afterwards. I take out the recycling once a day and sometimes go for a walk at the end of the day if I am feeling up to it. I have also taken up regular yoga recently which has been very good at helping me feel more relaxed and in tune with my body. I am currently doing a 30-day yoga class on Youtube. I am on day 16 two months into lockdown so I haven’t been able to motivate myself to do it everyday but I am happy that I have at least managed to show up on some days. It has also greatly helped with my back problems which I’m super happy about.
So overall, I have found that setting goals that suit me and keeping a regular weekly routine has really helped me feel better about myself in lockdown. I hope this could be of help to someone. Thankyou for reading 🙂