It's dark, it's cold and we're stuck inside! I don't know about anyone else, but some days I just feel a little bit bleugh! This time of year can be a difficult one, so how can we beat the lockdown blues?
What started as feeling surreal, different and to some a bit of an adventure, has slowly turned into feeling tedious, lonely and often repetitive. When we start to feel like this, it's hard to not just keep going. We try to push through, ignoring the fact that we are missing out on things that would normally keep us well balanced. But let's just stop for a minute and think about what has disappeared from our lives. How can we reintroduce those things within the safety guidance?
Build your connections
Connections to people are so important. Perhaps the online meetings and texts are just not enough to keep those connections meaningful. So think about how you can deepen those connections. How many of us stay in touch over text? Make a change and pick up the phone, or schedule in some virtual coffee dates. At the time of writing this we are able to meet one person outside for exercise, so maybe find yourself an exercise buddy!
Personally, I am notoriously bad for keeping in touch! I have the best friends, who I know are always there for me, and they know I'm always there for them. But I am so bad at even texting them regularly. And I know that when I start to feel down, reaching out to them is the last thing on my mind. So I write reminders in my diary to connect with them. It might sound really scheduled and formal, but I know that sometimes I need a little nudge to do the things that I know are most important to me.
Lockdown blues can be particularly hard if you're at home by yourself, or stuck in the house with others, so it's really important to get outside and get some fresh air – reconnect with nature. Schedule in some walks to get you out of the house. It can seem really dark at this time of year, so getting outside can brighten us up – though make sure to wrap up warm! You could even try some mindfulness walks to really ground you back in the present. If you need some encouragement, set yourself a goal of how many miles to aim to walk in a month and start ticking them off as you go.
Working from home
If you've got work to do at home, it can be difficult to find focus. And then the guilt sets in because you've not done enough work, and you get caught in a vicious cycle! Break it down into small achievable goals that you can begin to tick off. And if you only complete one in a day, well done! Sometimes it's an achievement just to get dressed – recognise that! For more help with working from home visit Find Out What Motivates You. And don't forget, occasionally it is acceptable to make a hot drink, put your feet up and read a book, watch your favourite film, dance around madly to music, or whatever makes you feel good!
For some more quick ideas, visit Banish Those Monday Blues! So what are you doing to beat the lockdown blues? Send me a comment with your ideas. And if you really are struggling and need support, there's a free text line available from Shout – just text 85258 to talk.