looking after yourself and others during the continued restrictions
It is hard to believe that nearly a year on and we are still in the midst of the pandemic and restrictions.
Our Mental Health and well-being has certainly been under pressure and it does always seem worse during the colder months – however spring is around the corner, as is the hope of getting back to some form of normality.
Children and parents have been finding it particularly hard, as have those people shielding and living alone, when so many of our social face to face interactions are not possible.
The message is –
- to stay as connected with other people in what ways you can, whether meeting for a socially distanced walk, phone call or video call, and talk about how you feel – or check in on someone else, especially if you know they live alone. If they do not want to talk, just let then know you are there and will check in again with them. Sometimes people do want another person to just listen –
- There are so many wonderful organisations you can talk to or text – reach out, it is so worth sharing your feelings – you are not alone. SHOUT, MIND & YOUNG MINDS, CALM, ANXIETY UK to name a few.
Age UK has a good video to help older people who are not familiar with video calling.
Nature continues regardless…
If you can, do outside into nature, it does have a calming effect and helps you feel a little more grounded, getting natural light is important.Even 10 minutes a day will help – look out for the signs of spring, like snowdrops and daffodil buds or just pause and listen to the birds. You can put some food and water out for the birds and get nature to come to you.
If you are feeling low or have feelings of anxiety that you find hard to talk about,
then why not look at expressing how you feel by reading or writing poetry, how about a story or blog, if you are musical – you could write a song or rap? There have been some particularly funny Lockdown songs and during these times – humour is a saviour.
If you do feel particularly anxious
try writing down all your thoughts on a piece of paper and then rip it up and throw it away.
Maybe draw or paint your feelings and use the colours as expression – you don’t need to be ‘good’ at art, just use the colours in a way that helps you feel good or release pent up feelings.
Put some music on and really feel the music, express yourself through movement – dance like no-one is watching – or dance together whether in person or over a video call and have fun. Movement, like dancing or other forms of exercise are so good for you, and help you feel energised.
Focus on the positives from each day
take each day one day at a time. Take timeout for self-care, like reading a book, going for a walk or having a bath – this helps you cope with what is going on around you
Remember to Breathe… and let go of those things you cannot control and focus on what you CAN do
Valentines in Lockdown?
‘Lockdown Love’ has certainly been a challenge, especially if you do not live with your partner, or are single and looking for love.
So, what can you do for Valentine’s day?
- You could have fun making each other a valentine’s card and a poem to go in it! Or send one to cheer up a friend or someone you admire!
- Write a valentine’s song.
- Send a valentine’s video – with a lovely message or song!
- Dress up for a night out & cook a meal together – or if you live apart both cook the same meal over zoom!
- Maybe support a local restaurant by ordering a valentine’s meal or food hamper.
- Watch a film together and cosy up – again you can watch the same film together while on a video call – just press play at the same time!
- Wrap up warm and go for a country or coastal walk
- Send flowers, an indoor plant or seeds for the garden.
If you are single and looking for love
Are you currently single?
It certainly is a challenge to be able to meet anyone in person, however dating site reports suggest it is a good time to have more meaningful chats with a potential partner, with a little less initial pressure about meeting up.
If you are using dating apps, do take care and make sure you try not to go on them when you feel particularly vulnerable, and do not give out your phone number – use the withhold number option, until you feel safe to.
Only ever arrange to meet someone if you feel safe. That it follows current restriction guidelines, and you tell someone where you are. Do not meet anywhere remote.
For Valentine’s why not buddy up online with another single friend. Watch a romantic film or RomCom – with a warming hot chocolate or a cocktail!
If you can – treat yourself to some lovely food to cook or order in and why not?
- Loneliness can be hard, so remember to connect with friends, or the wonderful organisations out there. Check up on someone you know is alone.
Valentine’s day is just one day!
Stay connected and stay safe
Young Minds https://youngminds.org.uk/
Anxiety UK https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/