Coping with life in lockdown

6th
January, 2021
  1. Try to have a regular routine - keep to a regular bedtime and aim for 7 - 8 hours sleep; if you are working from home make sure you take time for snacks and lunch, make time to get up from your desk regularly to move and stretch; make time to exercise e.g. go for a walk, do an online exercise class
  2. Eat well - good for your physical and mental health; try to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetable every day; have regular meals and make sure your snacks are healthy e.g. fruit, small handful of unsalted nuts
  3. Drink plenty of water - 6 - 8 glasses daily is recommended but you will need more if you are exercising
  4. Avoid unhealthy lifestyle choices - limit the amount of caffeine you have; don't be tempted to use alcohol, smoking or recreational drugs as a way of dealing with stress, these will only make things worse in the long term
  5. Find time to relax - although it is important to keep informed it is ok to switch off if the news is making you anxious or stressed; limit the time you spend on social media; taking some slow deep breaths can help reduce anxiety levels - breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breathe out for four counts; take a walk outside if you can
  6. Enjoy nature - spend sometime in a green open space if you can, listening to the sounds of nature like the birds singing or the wind through the trees. If you can't then try to find some aspects of nature indoors - appreciate house plants or flowers, watch the cloud patterns in the sky, listen to the rain falling outside the window, stand at the front door or open the window and feel the cool air against your skin, smell the scent of flowers or herbs
  7. Nurture your relationships - try to keep in touch with loved ones who you can't meet face to face - video and phone calls, write letters or send cards for a change; when relationships are strained make sure you talk to each other and give the other person/s respect
  8. Support any children you know and have contact with face-to-face or virtually - try to be a positive role model as changing rules and routines can be confusing for children; help them to learn how to manage when life is stressful and uncertain; suggest they keep a journal and write down the things they are grateful for or things that have made them proud or happy; make sure they know it is good to talk about how they are feeling especially if they are scared or feeling low
  9. Be kind - to yourself and others, especially when things feel difficult to cope with
  10. Ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed - if you are feeling angry, upset, sad or stressed talk to someone you trust; if you feel there is no-one you can talk to then you can find help from Mind, Samaritans, Age UK (for older people), Young Minds (for young people)