As we try and weave our way through this hectic, pandemic-focused year, I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has well and truly taken its toll on all of us.
And now more than ever, we need to be taking extra care of our mental health. So with this in mind, I really do hope that you’re all as well as you can be given this less-than-ideal situation.
I would say ‘try to stay positive’, which we should but let’s be honest here; easier said than done.
Here, I thought I’d outline for you a few things I’m doing to try and cope with this turbulent time, and I hope they can help you too!
When most of us are working from home, it can make it difficult to learn how to ‘switch off’ from work-mode and actually take time to ourselves.
Something I’ve started doing to try and really wind down is to practice at least one small act of self-care per day. Whether that be a home-facial, a bubble bath, taking time to jot down my jumbled-thoughts, or even just sitting down with a good book.
Whatever the term ‘self-care’ means to you, basically! I highly suggest taking at least 5 minutes per day to just do something for yourself – you deserve it.
As I work predominantly on my computer and on my phone, I find I really struggle not to get into a habit of mindlessly scrolling whenever I get a spare minute – anyone else relate?!
This only makes it easier to fall into the trap of social media envy. We see all these people online with their sparkly lives and lockdown productiveness, which is lovely! But it’s also important to remember that Instagram is a highlights reel of everyone’s best bits.
Taking time away from my phone has really helped me to focus on myself and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. At the end of the day, it’s not a competition!
If there’s anything we’ve learnt from the first lockdown, it’s just how important it is to communicate with each other.
If you’re feeling down or anxious in any way, please don’t be scared to reach out! Whether you feel more comfortable talking to a partner, a family member or a professional, the main thing is that you tell someone how you’re feeling.
On the same note, make sure you’re checking up on your friends and family – a text can sometimes go a long way.
Go at your own pace
As I said before, I find it easy to get stressed when everyone is posting about how much they’ve got done in lockdown.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good DIY and keeping busy at the moment. The thing is, everyone is different! In a productivity-obsessed society, it can sometimes be hard to remember to slow down.
So basically, please don’t put any pressure on yourself. If you want to start going on a run every day or baking banana bread or decorating your bathroom, do it! But because you actually want to, not just because everyone else is so you feel you should.
(If what you actually fancy is spending a Saturday watching Christmas films and polishing off a box of Quality Street, I say go for it.)
Now give yourself a big cuddle, we all need it right now!
Love, Pam xx
Mental health helpline contact numbers:
Samaritans (UK and Ireland): 116 123
Helpline: 0800 068 4141
CALM: Helpline for men: 0800 58 58 58
'Shout' crisis text line: text SHOUT to 85258