A winter lockdown is testing even for the most optimistic of people. But there are small things that are easy to integrate into our days to keep us more upbeat during these difficult times. Here’s our list of ways to keep positive during lockdown.
As they say, variety is the the spice of life. Obviously in normal life, variety can be big changes such as holidays or events. During lockdown, needless to say this is a little more tricky. However, tiny things to mix up your daily routine will have the same benefits. This can be as small and simple as reading a publication you’ve never read before. Change the films you watch by having a week of just watching black and white movies, eat food you’ve never tried before. Anything that is a new experience to you (no matter how small) will give your brain something to think about and process.
Variety is also important to help you switch off from work. If you spend the day looking at a computer screen, make sure you don’t look at screens as much during your time off. If your career is more physical, allow yourself more time in front of the TV once you clock off. If you’re furloughed try and start a project or volunteer – doing something you normally wouldn’t do will be very beneficial. Any small change will be great for your mental state, and will prevent the feeling of groundhog day.
Keep your brain stimulated by learning. Take this extra time at home to explore something you never normally would. The Open University has tons of free courses you can enrol in, or you sign up for some online lectures if you rather not commit to an entire course. Try and do something completely different from your career industry for maximum escapism.
Make sure you connect with people around you. Whether this is a phone call/ Zoom/Text – make sure you speak to someone everyday. These are lonely times, and speaking to people we care about is very important for our happiness. If you don’t feel like you have someone you can contact, there are many charities which has people you can call for a chat.
This may be an obvious one, but make sure you are eating right, doing exercise and sleeping enough. Many of us will get their exercise from travelling to and from work, with this gone, we will have to make a conscious effort to incorporate exercise into our daily routine.
So many of us haven’t taken annual leave this year as it may seem like a waste – however, most of us are still working and we are given holidays for a reason. Remember to take the odd day off to give yourself a break from work. It may seem boring, but spend the day really investing in self care. So many people have burnt themselves out by not taking any time off during the pandemic.
Sense of Purpose
It is very important to have a sense of purpose in life, and many may feel like they don’t have one right now. The easiest way to get this sense is to help others, whether this is listening to a friends problem, volunteering or just helping someone. If you don’t need to shield right now, volunteering at the vaccine or testing centre is really rewarding. For those of you who have to shield you can volunteer from home. There’s charities were you can call people who are spending this lockdown alone, or you could offer to help children with their school work with free lessons over zoom.
What is getting a lot of people down over this last year is the lack of development or progression in their lives. Again, with the whole country is in standstill this is tricky. But one thing you can do is plan – plan that dream holiday you’ve always wanted to go on, plan that business venture you never got round to starting! Or give yourself a project – sort out and redecorate the living room or grow your own vegetables. The point is to focus on something that has an end result, so you can feel that sense of achievement.
We hope you find our list of things to keep happy during lockdown useful. If you have feelings of depression please contact your doctor.