We’re in such a rut right now with lockdown madness that it makes sense that the world can feel a little skewed. Those who want to travel and explore suddenly find that they have cement around their legs. Those who had plans to see family and friends, and those who have had children during the initial lockdown phases are hitting new lockdowns with family members who still haven’t met the baby. You see, it’s extremely isolating and lonely to be in a lockdown, and while it’s a necessary measure to ensure the health and safety of the general population, it doesn’t make it easy. So many people out there who have had previous mental health issues are now faced with more weeks of loneliness and stress as a result – which is why anxiety is such a problem for those in lockdown.
If you are currently struggling to adjust to lockdown, you are not alone. I know that this doesn’t make it easier to cope, but knowing you are not alone will help you to adjust better because it’s easier to be in the same storm with others who can empathise with you. Anxiety presents itself in so many ways and it’s different for anyone experiencing it. Some people are exhausted, others are dealing with low thoughts, insomnia, fatigue, the shakes and more. Anxiety makes an adrenaline rocket around your body and the come down from that is so difficult if you’re not managing it properly. Some people speak to a doctor and are prescribed rhodiola, others turn to a therapist so that they can get the support they need to get through it. While you’re in lockdown, though, there are several things that you can do to help yourself to stay sane. With the tips below, lockdown can be more manageable for you and your family.
- Okay, so it sounds like the worst job to do when you’re exhausted, but cleaning is a therapy. You need to be able to get through your adrenaline without crashing and the best way to burn off adrenaline is to do something that makes the house tidier and makes you feel good at the same time. Channelling all of that excess energy is so important and decluttering the house is another way to feel good. Getting rid of the unwanted things that are taking up your space will change your life and you won’t even realize it until you are doing it. Anxiety often stems from a lack of control and in lockdown, there is very little control to be had. However, once you take control of what you can, it can lead to you feeling better – well, at least on top of life!
- Increase Productivity. You need better time management if you want to curb your anxieties. Sit down and make a list of things you can realistically achieve in lockdown. It can be anything from daily goals like making the bed, to bigger goals like pairing all of the socks around the house. Productivity can keep you motivated, and if you have the smallest daily goals, you can feel like you are achieving something. Feeling inspiration is important and in lockdown, you need to pluck it from wherever you can. Keep a good balance between productivity and relaxation and you will feel like you are getting somewhere.
- No, you can’t get to the gym, and no, you can’t meet with a personal trainer, but you can get moving. Remember when we talked about burning off the adrenaline? Exercise can do that. You can do at-home workouts via YouTube, DVDs and more and you can do these any way that you like. If you have a love of ballet, you can do ballet workouts. If you love to lift weights, make sure that you buy the right equipment and get a workout from an online trainer to do at home. There are plenty of ways you can use your home to your advantage, too, and tons of monthly challenges that you can do to keep you moving. The mental benefits of exercise are just as good as the physical benefits, and you will feel energised and stronger as a result. Mix it up with relaxation exercises like Yoga added to your cardio. It’s all about that balance.
- Turn The News Off. Yes, you need the updates for lockdowns and the pandemic, but no, you do not need loud announcements about how doomed we all are glaring at you from a biased box in the corner. The TV can have a negative impact on your mental health, and other than a quick scroll of the statistics for the pandemic, too much information can be pressure and that is not what you need. You need as much serenity and peace as possible, and turning off the news can do that for you.
- The rat race is far less ratty in lockdown, and you can use some of the time that you have to catch up on your sleep. A big thing with anxiety is not taking enough time to make yourself feel good, and sleep is going to make you feel that way. Without enough sleep, your anxiety is going to go into overdrive. Try to manage the time you spend sleeping as much as you would manage anything else: carefully! Allocate yourself a bedtime and stick to it. When you do this, you’re going to find the energy that you need to face your day.
- Give Your Mental Health Time. Lastly, give yourself a break! This is a new, historic thing that you are going through and it’s absolutely okay that you struggle with it. You need as much support as possible to get through your anxiety, so make sure that you have people around you or the number of a mental health helpline available to talk to someone.
Anxiety is not something you just “get over”. Take the time to get to know what you need as it won’t always be what other people tell you.