SANITY SAVERS IN LOCKDOWN
Humans generally do not do well in long-term isolation. However, there is no need for us to take a negative view of our current situation – we are not being punished; we are simply dealing with an unprecedented event in the best way we can.
This article offers some sanity-saving tips. Use those that work best for you.
- Stay informed but try not to become “virus update obsessed”. This breeds anxiety and fear, neither of which are healthy for you.
- Understand how your routines will change and think about what you can do that is positive.
- Be realistic about what you can achieve with current restrictions, budget and movement limitations and set a positive goal for each day.
- Make a list and decide which item you will do each day from the list – this gives you a time of positive goal setting to build on.
Try some of these examples:
- The obvious – spend more time with your children/pet – they will love the attention and special time with you. Plan interesting things to do together.
- Exercise one time per day, at a safe time and if possible, with a friend to make it a pleasant social occasion (and to keep you honest about doing it). Maintain social distancing as you walk or run. Fresh air and exercise help to lighten our mood and provides a different view for a time – not just four walls or our own garden/balcony.
- Make a list of tasks or projects around your place that you could achieve. Pick a task each day and do it – gain a positive sense of achievement.
- Stay connected with family and friends. Communicate with them each day (but not all of them each day or you will wear out your welcome). Share funny stories, not tragic ones, on social media, to help keep everyone’s spirits up.
- Take this time to stretch your mind and learn about something you have always wanted to know more about. Be proactive – there is lots of information online.
- Be creative and learn a new craft or skill – there are lots of online videos to watch and time to practice it.
- Read those books or do the puzzles you have always said you would. Enjoy a different challenge. Play board games and challenge a friend online to chess or other games you can share.
- Consider how others might benefit from contact with you. Check on elderly neighbours or those who live alone of any age. Offer to shop for them, walk their dog or do other tasks they could use a hand with. Show them they matter to you. A few minutes each day to be of service to others will raise your spirits too. Maintain social distancing.
- Remember to monitor your own health and if you feel unwell, allow yourself to rest. If you live alone, tell a friend you are unwell so they can check on you if needed. Be proactive about staying connected. If you feel depressed, seek help through your GP or psychologist – they can assist you to manage your feelings during the challenges ahead.
The main thing is to be positive and proactive, to keep yourself engaged and motivated during this unexpected down time. Try to make this negative into a positive – that is the challenge we face and remember as the song says, we are all in this together.