This week is Mental Health Awareness week.
Looking after our mental health all too often ends up at the bottom of the pile when it comes to our list of priorities. Despite being so vitally important and now widely promoted, it’s easily neglected.
I think it’s fair to say that lockdown has proven, and is still very much proving, a challenge to our mental well-being. There’s no shame in admitting it.
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my tips for surviving these surreal times and looking after your mental well-being.
Try and keep a routine on the go
For many people, lockdown has thrown all normality and daily routine out of the window. Finding a new routine can help though.
For example, I’m still setting an alarm Monday to Friday and trying to treat the weekend like the weekend. I try and plan something fun to do even if it’s just scheduling in a bit of binge-watching on Netflix!
Class members of mine have told me that they’re doing my online Dance Fit workouts on the same days and at the same times they’d normally go to class. I think this is a great idea! Why not try to reclaim an element of your normal routine?!
Plan your days
Adding some structure to your days can really help give you a focus and a purpose.
If I don’t plan out my day, the hours disappear and I end up accomplishing very little which leaves me feeling ‘meh.’
I’ve been setting a weekly to-do list each week and allocating days and times to each job.
Schedule in little things to look forward to
With many of the grander things we were looking forward to like parties, holidays, days out and nights out cancelled, it’s important to have little things to get excited about. It doesn’t matter if it’s a zoom call with friends, an online quiz or a nice walk.
If you’re feeling out of sorts, fed up or just weary, it’s easy to think you’re just being silly or that your mood’s not valid because there are other people far worse off than you at the moment.
I’ve had some days during lockdown where I’ve not been able to put my finger on what’s wrong or articulate how I’m feeling. But, the more I’ve reached out to friends and family, the more I’ve realised that this is a perfectly normal thing at the moment. Try and talk to someone.
Get your tunes on
Music is sooo good at lifting your mood. This week I’ve been listening to songs that remind me of my last holiday! I’m talking about the ones they played poolside at the hotel every day! Instead of making me sad that I’m no longer going on holiday this year, listening to the songs brought back lots of happy memories.
Improving your mental well-being is one of exercise’s main superpowers! It doesn’t matter what you do or how slow you go, it’s just about moving more and boosting those endorphins. This in turn will lift your mood and make you feel good.
Have a day where you dress up
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been putting zero effort into getting ready in a morning! Whilst I hope this lockdown period has encouraged everyone to embrace their natural beauty, a day out of loungewear doesn’t hurt and can actually make you feel better.
I’ve had many days where I’ve walked past the mirror and thought ‘urgh’ as I’ve took one glance at my bird’s nest hair and baggy jumper/leggings combo. Sometimes all it takes is a trusty ‘jeans and a nice top’ outfit and 5 minutes brushing and styling your hair to remember you’re a total babe!
Don’t forget your fresh air
I realised at the end of last week that I’d only left the house once in the previous 7 days and that was to go food shopping. I’d not even stood in the garden. * Face palm. *
Staying indoors is the new normal so it’s easy to forget to venture outside when there is no pressing need to. Naturally, I’m normally an indoor exerciser, so it’s particularly easy for me to forget to head out of the door with nowhere to go.
Even if you are not able to leave your home at the moment and don’t have a private space like a garden, try opening the windows and letting some fresh air in. Fresh air can really reinvigorate you.