This is an incredibly challenging time and a lot of us can be left feeling anxious. We cannot control what is going on in the world, but we can control what we do. Being stuck inside can feel isolating but there are lots of ways to make it a far more positive experience and help to keep our minds feeling a little calmer. Here are a list of things which I found work for me.
1- Write a list
When you are stuck at home with an indefinite date of when things will return to normal, it is easy to feel hopeless. But by creating a to-do list each day, you can help to give yourself some focus and goals. I like to include a combination of productive and practical tasks as well as things which will be good for my mental and physical wellbeing such as things which can bring me happiness.
If you are well enough, a little bit of exercise can make all the difference by releasing some endorphins. I personally like doing yoga, (I highly recommend Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube as there are videos for all abilities) as you don’t need too much space and it is good for the mind as well as physically. If you are able to get outside to a park, go for a run. Whatever works for you as long as you’re body moving.
3- Fresh Air
As I previously mentioned, if you can go for a walk in an open space, then do. Breathing in fresh air and listening to nature is very good for the soul and can help bring a moment of calm. If you are housebound, open your backdoor/window or if you have a garden spend 20 minutes out there. I don’t have a garden but I do have a balcony, and as soon as the weather starts to get warmer I plan to have breakfast/lunches/coffee breaks outside.
4- Take The Pressure Off
I’m self employed/freelance so currently all my work has gone. So although I want to use my free time to be as productive as possible and to make the most of it, I’m not going to feel guilty if one day I want to sit on the sofa and binge watch Netflix. This is an overwhelming time, there’s need to feel under any pressure. Be kind to yourself and listen to what your mind and body needs.
5- Create Different Spaces in Your Home
You may feel a little claustrophobic, particularly if you live in a smaller space like I do. But to utilise the little space you do have can help you to feel a lot less enclosed and create some calm in your home. Don’t let yourself get confined to your sofa. Eat your meals at one side of the table and work from the other side. Do your workout in the living room and watch Netflix in your bedroom. Utilise the space and create happy little corners in your home.
6- Limit Your Screen Time
It is easy to while away the hours staring at your phone when you’re on your own. I think that a little bit of time can be a good way to help us to still feel connected to others. Whether that is messaging friends and family, watching other people’s Instagram stories to see that everyone is in the same boat or watching TikTok for funny cat videos as a pleasant distraction and some light relief from the stresses of the world at the mo. But why not pick up a book and get lost in a story instead and smash your goal of how many books you wanted to read this year. Listen to your favourite podcast or dance to your fav Spotify playlist while cooking a meal. I sometimes leave my phone in a different room as old habits die hard.
7- Get Organising
I find that organising helps me to feel as though I am restoring some order in my home compared to the chaos that is going on outside. You know that messy drawer you’ve been meaning to clear out for the past 4 years? Well, now is the time to do it! A change in seasons is the perfect opportunity to do a wardrobe clear out. Organise your kitchen cupboards or freezer and you will probably find that you have more food than your current supermarket does.
8. Limit Your Exposure To The News
Constantly refreshing the BBC News app isn’t healthy but it was something I was doing a week ago. I turned off my notifications and only look at it once in the morning and once in the evening to keep updated. I even deleted it for 24 hours when I needed a break. I’ve also muted Instagram accounts which I found spoke about the C word topic an overwhelming amount without actually providing any new information. Keep informed without becoming overwhelmed.
9. Keep In Contact With Your Favourite People
Don’t allow yourself to become disconnected. FaceTime your best mate and you can both pour a glass of wine from the comfort of your own homes and have a good older natter on a Friday night. Start up a group chat with people from your office so you can have your usual work banter but via WhatsApp. Give your grandparents a ring so they equally don’t feel alone.
10. Spend Time Doing Things Which Bring You Joy
Put on your favourite comedy and binge watch the series. Run yourself a bubble bath, put on a face mask and have a pamper night. Bake your favourite treats. Make yourself a good cup of coffee. Do lovely things and you are guaranteed to feel more lovely.
I promise that you are not alone, so hang in there and find some peace in your home.