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Tips for coping with lockdown

Shout 85258 Clinician, Christine, shares some wellbeing tips to help those affected by further restrictions across the UK.

For more than half a year, most of us have been coping with changing information and unknowns. Being on high alert for an extended time is exhausting. If you feel worn down, tearful, fatigued, or on edge you’re not alone. These emotions are a normal reaction to this new way of life during the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re in a novel situation that the world has never dealt with before. No matter how adaptable and resilient we are, we are all struggling.

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If we can build joy and relief into each small moment, we will regain a sense of control and set up a joy filled future.

The unknown triggers one of the strongest fears we have: losing control. This is the fear that if you don't control the future, something horrible will happen. We can’t control many things in our lives right now. We can, however, instil a sense of control and build joy and relief into our everyday. Every minute adds up to every hour. Each hour to a day. Each day to a week. Each week to a month. We have control over each small moment. If we can build joy and relief into each small moment, we will regain a sense of control and set up a joy filled future.

Here are some tips to ground yourself in the present moment:

  • Do a body scan. Whether you’re sitting at your desk, brushing your teeth, or cooking dinner you can do a body scan anywhere at any time. Take a deep breath. Start with your toes and take note of how they feel - is there any tension or pain? Scan up and up bringing attention to every part of your body until you reach your head. Focus your breath on any areas where you feel pain or discomfort.

  • Pair dislikes with likes. Whether you’re waiting for the bus, cooking dinner, or doing any other activity that feels like a chore, build in joy. Pair the boring or unenjoyable task with something that brings you a burst of joy. Can you call a friend while cooking? Listen to a podcast? Play music? Try pairing a pleasant activity with something you dislike or find boring.

  • Improve your environment. Our environments have an impact on our mental wellbeing. Experiment to see what little tweaks to your environment brighten your routine. Does making your bed bring a wave of satisfaction every time you walk by? Do fresh flowers or stones you display near your workspace make you feel more relaxed? Does rearranging your furniture or posters make you feel like you’re in a fresh exciting place? Bring attention to your environment. Surround yourself with things that bring you joy and relief.

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