For centuries we have hoarded to help us through hard times; through war time, through bank holidays, through financially challenging times. We stockpile for the “just in case” and through fear we will run out. These times are now. We are living in anxious times.
We hoard for fear of the future, for fear of death and for fear of the unknown. Our hoard makes us feel safe, acts as a security blanket and helps fill a void. Our hoard can, on the other hand, make us feel oppressed, depressed and overwhelmed. With government rules on “staying in” there is no hiding from our hoard.
Here are ten top tips to see you through lockdown:
- Limit your time looking at the news and social media to perhaps twice a day. Too much information exacerbates are anxiety and fear. Filter out messages of “doom and gloom” as it is not helpful to our emotional wellbeing.
- Create a routine and structure to your day – this can be very anchoring and help you maintain a sense of control in a world where we have little control. We cannot control the pandemic, but we can control how we respond to it.
- Get dressed and make your bed each day. By doing both of these actions we frame the day and set our intentions in a positive way. It provides us with a sense of pride and is a form of self-care.
- Use this time to evaluate your home and the contents within it. If there are items, you decide do not enhance your life – bag and label them up for the time you can take them to charity. Use this time to organise, declutter and essentially “let go”.
- Sleep is essential to our sense of wellbeing and life’s challenges do not feel so overwhelming after a good night’s sleep. Warm drinks, reading, meditation and wind down time are conducive to good sleep hygiene. Turn off devices at least an hour before bed.
- Pace yourself and find your rhythm. Be careful of not doing too much all at once and wearing yourself out. We need to protect our energy as we feel a sense of grief. It’s important to accept and acknowledge how you are feeling rather than push these thoughts away.
- Try and maintain a healthy balanced diet and be mindful of the “treats” we feel we need to comfort ourselves. There is currently no evidence to suggest that any supplement can boost our immune systems to prevent COVID-19. Stress can dehydrate our bodies so drinking plenty of water is vital.
- Exercise is essential for not only our physical but also our mental health and whether you are able to get out or not there are plenty of ways of exercising. Exercise can help with relaxation, the quality of your sleep, and relieves feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
- Gratitude can play an essential part in managing our mindset. We need to think of what we are grateful for rather than what we are missing. Be thankful for the simplest of things, from the warmth of the sun on our backs, to the orchestra of birdsong early morning.
- Be kind to yourself. We are on pause and have never experienced such times before. Do not put undue pressure on yourself to do right. Do more ‘human being’ rather than ‘human doing’ and use this time to reflect, nourish and connect with ourselves and others.