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6 Ways To Prepare For Lockdown

05 January 2022

The past years of lockdowns and restrictions in the name of public safety have been tough on many, and the thought alone of heading into another lockdown is cause enough for anxiety. And while the repetition doesn’t make things any easier, it does present the opportunity to learn from past experiences, and better prepare for oncoming restrictions and lockdown measures.

 

In fact, this kind of preparation is of an ever-growing importance, as we are now beginning to see the full extent of the impact that ongoing lockdowns are having on the general public’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Studies across the UK have shown that between 2018 and 2020, the percentage of the population reporting severe mental distress rose from roughly 20% to closer to 30%, in the space of just one year. This rise in mental distress is true across all demographics, and any one of us is susceptible to the pressures of such isolating measures. In order to safeguard against the negative impacts of ongoing cycles of lockdown, take note of these useful tips, and keep your mental wellbeing in the best shape possible.

1. Maintain projects around the house

When the normal errands and hobbies that keep us occupied on a day to day basis are no longer available to us, it can be easy to feel at a loss as to what to do with ourselves. Key to staying motivated, active, and engaged is making sure you have plenty to do around the house to keep you entertained. Doing a big clear-out, redecorating a room, picking up a new skill or hobby, or taking out to the garden are all great ways to keep your space feeling dynamic, and maintain a sense of passion and purpose throughout the lockdown period.

2. Master the home office

As for many of us, lockdowns mean switching back to home office, the lines between work and home can easily grow blurry. Key to maintaining your mental wellbeing throughout a lockdown is making sure to create a distinct boundary between these two aspects of life, and learn to disconnect from the working day. The best way to approach this is by creating a distinct space in which you dedicate yourself to work, and allowing yourself to plug out from work when you are away from your dedicated home office. Creating an inviting and comforting space for your home office lends itself to overall mental and physical wellbeing, so consider investing in good lighting and ergonomic office furniture.

3. Prepare a routine

With less and less reasons to leave the house, time can start to feel as though it’s moving funny, and it can be hard to keep a sense of time and rhythm throughout the day. Creating a sense of routine, even just around the house, can help to preserve the sense of structure and rhythm that carries us through day to day. Adding in reliable anchor points to each day, such as a morning walk, daily exercise, or even just a trip out to the shops, helps to preserve a sense of structure and prevents the mind from being swallowed up by the monotony of lockdown.

4. Keep moving

Lockdown or no lockdown, regular exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. More time at home is a perfect excuse to dedicate more time and effort to your personal fitness regime. Going for walks, runs, or even taking up a home exercise such as yoga or pilates is a great way to keep your body engaged throughout the lull of a lockdown. Better physical health has proven time and time again to have added benefits to emotional and mental wellbeing, meaning that your mind feels better alongside your body.

5. Plan for the future

Being stuck at home for long periods of time, unable to see friends or travel can leave us feeling disconnected from the outside world. A fun and practical way to overcome this sense of detachment is to bear in mind the fact that there is a brighter future waiting on the horizon. Take your added time at home as an opportunity to plan for the future. Whether this be outlining goals for the upcoming year, or even planning a holiday for when lockdown is over - keeping your mind focused on the future will help you to see the bigger picture, even if you’re feeling down.

6. Don’t let yourself feel pressured

One unfortunate effect of lockdown has been an increased pressure to be productive or innovative with how we spend our time. It’s all too easy to pop on to social media and be greeted with a slew of posts about all the amazing accomplishments others have achieved throughout their lockdown. In these difficult times, everyone copes differently, and there should be no pressure whatsoever to feel a sense of accomplishment or achievement in these pressing times.

 

As long as you’re looking after your own personal wellbeing, and making sure to treat yourself with care and respect - lockdown is yours to do with as you wish. These simple yet effective tips will help you keep your chin up and eyes focused forward, even if public safety means staying inside for now.