Many of us started 2021 full of hope and optimism. A few days in, and it seems as though we’re facing another long stretch of lockdown measures. Times are hard, and it’s more important than ever to look after yourself. In this guide, we’ll explore some simple coping mechanisms that will make life that little bit more manageable.
Finding comfort and joy in the little things
We are all navigating uncharted waters at the moment, and it’s hard to make sense of what’s going on. One of the most important lessons to be learned from the first and second lockdowns is that there is often a lot to be grateful for. Try and focus on the positives. This is sometimes easier said than done, but if you can maintain perspective, this will help you get through. Rather than seeing the situation as a wholly negative experience, be grateful for the opportunities it provides. Many parents complained that they didn’t get enough time to spend with their kids before the Covid-19 crisis. Many of us wanted to spend more time at home. Now, we have the chance to stay at home more and to be together. We can go out and enjoy a walk, we can connect virtually with friends and family and we can have fun snuggling up for movie night or reading books on a rainy afternoon. Nobody is capable of keeping a smile on their face 24/7, especially at the moment, but try and stay positive and focus on the fact that, at some point, this will end.
We may not be able to jet off on holiday, book a table at our favourite restaurant, hang out with friends at the pub or go to concerts, parties or shows at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself. There might not be a cause for a glamorous outfit or a new winter wardrobe, but there are plenty of things you could buy to bring a smile to your face. Invest in items that will make you feel comfortable and confident in the weeks ahead. From fluffy socks and luxurious loungewear to bras on sale and activewear you can wear to do your home workouts, it’s wonderful to be able to enjoy the odd indulgence. When every day seems to blend into the next, and home is the only destination we can visit, simple things like getting up and putting on nice underwear or an outfit that makes you feel good can make all the difference.
Moderate your intake of information
It’s easy to get bogged down in the doom and gloom of the headlines and to worry about what is going to happen the next day, week or month. While it’s tricky to avoid bulletins and endless swathes of information that come our way via social media, text messages and TV, it’s beneficial to try and moderate your intake of information to avoid overload. Check the headlines a couple of times per day to stay informed, but resist the temptation to sign up for alerts or to spend your afternoons scrolling or responding to messages in group chats. Make sure you access reputable sites and sources and use social media only to do things that make you happy, for example, speaking to friends or looking at photos or video clips. Give yourself a time limit and come offline if you find that the news is too overwhelming or you’re spending too much time going down a social media rabbit hole.
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Life in lockdown can be tough, and that’s why it’s so important to take good care of yourself. Try to stay positive, treat yourself and avoid consuming too much information if it makes you feel anxious or low.