Did you ever think you’d get tired of wearing sweatpants to work? Unfortunately, with many still being in lockdown (or asked to work from home) this means having to accept a reality that we did not choose, have no control over and that challenges our normal day-to-day lives. It’s a recipe for burnout and other mental health issues and, while restrictions will slowly be relaxed, we will still have a prolonged period of semi-lockdown.
To survive this, we need to feel like we have some control. Having a list of ways to address lockdown issues is one of the ways in which we can take back some of the agency that COVID-19 has taken from us:
- Stay social – we aren’t able to see the friends and family who keep us sane normally. Thankfully we live in a time where we can spend time with them virtually. Make catch-up sessions over video conferencing sites part of your weekly schedule.
- Stay active – All those (sometimes irritating) motivational quotes and articles about the power of exercise to uplift your mood do have a lot of truth to them. You can find online fitness classes, apps and trainers online. Do exercises you wouldn’t normally do: Learn to do a handstand. Start Tai Chi. Do acroyoga with your kids (or your dog).
- Sweat the small stuff – Because the pandemic has stolen the ‘control’ we have over our day to day lives, even the smallest decisions we make are important.
- Avoid obsessing – It’s easy to get sucked into an obsession with news about the Corona Virus, but that can lead to anxiety and enhanced feelings of negativity about the future. Allow yourself a short period of time to look at the news. Then put it away for the rest of the day.
- Be kind to yourself – An event of this kind will likely invoke reactions of fear, anxiety, negativity, and depression. Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel these emotions without assuming that you have to ‘fix’ them.
- Keep the big picture in mind – Because you’re stuck in lockdown with a limited number of people, it’s easy for your focus to become myopic. Reminding yourself that you are saving lives by staying home will help counteract some of the negativity you feel over being forced into the lockdown.
- Find joy – At some point in the day, make it a point to note something that has brought you a moment of joy. Even the smallest spark of happiness can carry you through the stress that this situation has created.