The Coronavirus is still the top headline everywhere and will continue to be for many weeks or even months it seems, we’re all scared, anxious and some of us are definitely a little bored with staying in, feeling low and it’s safe to say that a lot of self-love has been forgotten about.

It’s like the days just fly by, we don’t even know what day it is and it’s just the same thing every day. Going to bed late, waking up late, watching TV, going to bed again, it’s a very similar routine for many. We still don’t know when the lockdown will come to an end, and for some staying in can be extremely difficult especially if you’re on your own. It’s so important to do things for yourself that will make you feel happier and give you a clear mind, times are extremely tough right now and that is why giving yourself some self-love and taking care of your mental health is the most important thing.

So what is there to do whilst on lockdown?

If you’re not going out for one hour of exercise, helping out a vulnerable person, medical reasons or going out for food, then you will be spending your time at home. It can be hard to come up with new things to do each day, rather than just sitting watching TV in your pajamas all day, which let’s be honest most people are! But when you actually think about it, there are a fair few activities you could do even on your own or with your family, that are entertaining and will keep everyone distracted.

Ever thought of learning a new language? Well now is the time doesn’t matter if you don’t know a single word or if you’re super fluent, it’s so good for the mind to learn new things and develop a skill that may come in handy in the future, or simply just a bit of fun! Whether it’s French, Spanish or Italian, YouTube is a fantastic source to get videos from professionals to teach you at your own pace, there is an app called Duolingo that you can download onto your phone, to take you through the process of learning a new language.

We all need to tidy up, we all need a clear-out and to feel organized, so why not start now? Most of the time we all keep clothes that we don’t really wear, start by chucking them pieces away, put them in a bag then when things get back to normal then take them to charity. Go through your clothes and organize them into for example tops, jeans, loungewear, smart wear, etc, so that when you go and look you know what to look for and where. You can do this with your kitchen cupboards too, organize it put tins in one, snacks in another and so on, you’d be surprised how much time organizing takes.

Gardening is honestly the perfect activity to do whether it’s on your own, or with your family, there is always something for each person to do and the best part is you get out in the fresh air and soak up the Vitamin D and a change of scenery. If you’re sick of spending all your time indoors, then get out and turn your garden into something beautiful to take your mind of everything, make it a place you can escape too with a book and have some downtime, get planting colorful flowers with the kids and make the most out of it.

Why not learn to play an instrument, many times we listen to music and maybe think about playing some kind of instrument, some of us have them laying around and don’t even pick them up to have a go, so get out the guitar and re-tune it, grab the keyboard or any instrument you want to learn to play. With so much time on our hands, you might as well put time into learning a new skill.

Getting fit is always important, but it is more now than ever, not only for our health but our mental health too. Especially being stuck inside 24/7 it can make you feel really low and tired constantly, so now is a good time to delve into exercise, you can work out how you want too, find what works for you best, whether that’s yoga, weights, cardio or boxing perhaps you can decide what you want to do and what you enjoy, even just getting up for even half an hour can work wonders, even working out outside in your garden if you can, you’ll be getting the fresh air and doing a good workout. YouTube is filled with workout videos, some great ones are Fitness Marshall is great for cardio and learning dances to get your sweat on, Pop Sugar Fitness is good for anything cardio and weights and Joe Wicks is great for the kids to get them up and moving! Amazon has loads of gym equipment from dumbells, to resistance bands, to work out clothes, equipment, you can grab whatever you need so you can get up and feel good.

Pursue your hobby, if you’ve had something you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time to invest in it, then now is the time. Do the hobby that’s always made you feel happy, whether that’s learning how to cook making healthy recipes for meals, do some baking! DIY, do art, learn to sing, write more, read more books, anything that interests you. Take your mind off things and relax and go into your own world with what you enjoy most. Try something new, do what you want to as long as you stay indoors or in your garden.

Another way to pass the time and get everyone involved, is by playing board games, monopoly takes up a fair few hours to play, perhaps scrabble is another good one it gets your brain going, Jenga is always a super fun one. Or if you’d prefer to set up your own little game in your house, then use some empty plastic bottles, grab a small ball and play bowling with them, it’s super fun, gets you moving. Here are some more ideas on indoor games to play.

How do I take care of myself in lockdown?

I’m pretty sure we’ve had them days where we don’t wash our hair for a few days, we feel down in the dumps and just wake up whenever go to bed whenever and eat what we want. Many of us are probably struggling to sleep at the moment with everything going on, the average adult needs around 7-8 hours a night but some of us are only seeing 4-5 we’re going to sleep early morning and waking up late afternoon.

Stress and anxiety are the common causes for this and that’s understandable with everything going on right now, the thing is poor sleep doesn’t just leave you with bags under your eyes, but it can lead to mood swings and a spike in anxiety. So what can you do to help you sleep? A key thing to do is shut off all technology, we’re so distracted by a screen whether that’s a phone, TV or anything similar. Instead, read a book or write in a journal, you’ll eventually begin to feel tired, rather than flicking through your phone, as that keeps your brain alert. Avoid eating anything at least two hours before you sleep and do not drink caffeinated drinks if you’re about to go to bed.

Once you wake up in the morning open your windows and let the light in, go downstairs and have a cup of tea in the garden or open your windows and let the light hit your face. Get out of bed at the same time each day and go to bed at the same time, fair enough we might not be getting many hours but if you’re going to bed at 3 am and waking up at 11 am when you’d normally go to bed at 11 pm and wake up at 9 am your body will feel the impact of lack of sleep, it’s best to keep your routine, doesn’t matter if you don’t have to wake up for anything.

Maintaining a routine is vital, it’s easy to roll out of bed and head down and leave your pajamas on all day, leaving your hair a mess and not doing your skincare, but your body needs this. You should wake up, get dressed, go and wash your face and brush your teeth and just do everything like you normally would, your body needs you to love it especially at times like this.

Physical activity yeah it may be talked about too much, but its important exercise can help reduce stress, try and get around half-hour every day. Just get up and get moving, you’ll feel so much better afterwards. Keep in contact with those you love, call them, facetime them, just make sure to keep talking to them as much as you can to stop you from feeling lonely and giving you a pick me up.

Yeah digging into a tub of ice cream sounds amazing, or anything else that is considered as bad for us, but ask yourself each time are you actually hungry or just bored? Don’t get me wrong indulging on your favorite treats is absolutely fine, but eating just because you feel like it is what makes you feel rubbish after. If your emotions are heightened and your not actually feeling hungry, call a friend, go for a short walk, do something to distract yourself.

Treat yourself to a lovely bubble bath, a face mask, perhaps sitting down and watching your favorite movie, or having an hour to play a game, do anything that will pick you up and make you feel better. Giving your body some self-love will make it appreciate you more and lead it to be less stressed and not only that it’ll help your mental health.

Self-care comes in different forms though, there’s emotional doing activities that help you connect, process and reflect on emotions. Practical, creating a budget plan, organizing your closet, tidy your workspace. Physical, taking a walk, sleeping the right amount, staying hydrated. Mental, reading a book, solving a puzzle, playing a board game. Social, calling your family or friends, having a catch-up. Spiritual, meditation, yoga, being in nature on your daily exercise, dedicate time to self-reflect.

Mental Health 

The thing is we’re pretty hooked now on the news and what’s going on, whilst it’s always good to be alert and know what’s going on, sometimes it can cause more harm than good. Especially if you’re reading every minute of every day. It can make us feel very overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. Whilst these feelings are completely normal considering the circumstances, it’s important to take steps to prevent it from affecting us too much.

Connection, feeling connected if you’re not isolating with your family, then be sure to pick up the phone and give them a call, play a game, have a gossip, or even have dinner together. Talking about how you feel, can really help relieve the stress your feeling and laughing with someone you love will make you feel better. Call your friends or your other half, have a laugh, watch a movie together.

Try making a to-do list, ticking things off as you go, but also don’t beat yourself up if you don’t complete something. Set certain times for when you’ll eat, or when you’ll go to sleep and wake up, just to keep that same schedule going.

Recite positive words to yourself, perhaps in the morning say to yourself ”it’s going to be ok”, ”you’ll get through this”. It may sound silly, but it’ll give you that boost of self-confidence instantly. Another great thing to do is write five things you’re grateful for every morning, practice gratitude.

Let the creativity begin, draw something, perhaps you’ve got a piece of furniture that’s looking dull give it some love, use the time you have to let the inner artist create. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a pro, it’s about having fun and doing something you’ll be proud of.

Learn to disconnect, everything can get a bit too much especially now. Limit your news and social media and just breathe. It’s important to switch off sometimes, and rejuvenate your mind. Even with all this going on, you can still find positivity through news like this piece for instance from Curley Tales about ”5 positive things amidst Covid-19 outbreak that prove the world is healing”.

Of course, eating as healthy as you can, whilst still having the treats you love, exercising and keeping your body moving as much as you can and connecting with those you love will make it that little bit easier. Do them things you always pushed to the side, dance your heart out, cook up a scrumptious recipe and try and reflect on yourself, this will all end eventually and we’ll appreciate each other, ourselves and life that bit more.

Please remember that at this time, if you feel like talking to someone other then family or friends about how’re you feeling, online counseling is still a perfect way to connect with a counselor and talk about anything that’s getting you down, please contact Becky on the phone 0751049571, email beckywhocares1@outlook.com, Facebook, Instagram @counsellorwhocares and the same for Twitter or you can fill out the contact form on the website. 

Don’t forget to stay home this weekend, even though it is hard as people will want to see families and celebrate their religious beliefs, please stay home. The NHS and all the key workers are doing absolutely everything they can do help defeat this illness and keep this country going, so do it for them. You can still enjoy yourself at home!

Website: https://www.counsellorwhocares.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeckyCares/

Instagram: @counsellorwhocares

Journalism Student