Worried About Lockdown? Us Too.

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis (shout out to Mum and Dad), will know that this blog is all about promoting the mental wellbeing of my readers by offering inspiring real life content and motivational pieces.

In the flesh, I’m no different. Unsatisfied unless I’ve done something productive in my day, I try and encourage mental wellbeing in both myself and my partner Darren. However, sometimes I need help and Darren, his sister Louise and my family have all been there to support me in this difficult time.

It goes to show that everyone needs help from time to time and just because your friend or family member seems to have their life in order, things may not always be as peachy as they appear.

I have worries and concerns everyday about a whole host of things, mainly financial due to losing my full time job as a product lister for an eCommerce brand, but I do my best to plod through. We deal with the hand we’re dealt and although sometimes it feels like a lot of others have landed on their feet where I keep stumbling and falling over, I keep moving forward because that’s all I can do.

However dark things may seem at the moment, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Watching Darren progress at learning the ukulele and seeing the chord progression finally click in his brain yesterday was super encouraging and I am so proud of him.

It’s definitely true that other people’s energies reflect onto you and vice versa and as we carry on like the good Brits we are, I do feel hopeful, regardless of my worries. We will return to our new normal one day but for now, we should be making the best of things.

Things will have a habit of working themselves out, we just have to believe it so.

Until next time.

Dealing with the stresses of lockdown – Part 2

Last time we looked at how the lockdown was putting a strain on everybody, especially those who are experiencing anxiety or depression for the first time.

As the lockdown continues and social distancing measures seem to be here to stay for the time being, it’s important to ensure we can make the most of it and combat feelings of depression and anxiety.

So how do we do that?

First of all, we need to accept how we’re feeling and then look at why. Are we anxious because we don’t know how we will survive financially? Are we depressed because we can’t see friends and family? Are we scared about the virus and how it could affect us?

All are valid reasons and reasons shared with a lot of people for being upset and afraid.

I personally, am terrified of contracting the virus as I have several life threatening illnesses including asthma and a nut allergy to name a few. Lets face it, my lungs were not cut out to handle a respiratory virus. However, I continue on, keep up with my workouts and my daily inhalers to build up my lungs so I am best equipped to deal with whatever happens.

As I said in my last article, it’s very easy to slip into the habits of getting out of bed much later than usual, staying in your pyjamas and binge watching TV until you feel like you’ve got square eyes. However, this is synonymous with behaviours of depression and during days outside of lockdown we would see this as worrying behaviour, so why is during lockdown any different?

Yes we can’t go outside and see friends and family but we can get into positive little habits that will make you feel better and after the lockdown you can brag that you got loads done during this time.

So where do we start?

In my last article I discussed my morning routine. I talked about how I leave Darren in bed to sleep while I get up, drink coffee and read a magazine or a book. This alone time gives my brain the much needed time to think outside of social media and physical noise. It’s a good way to set up the day.

Once I’ve woken up I look at things that need doing around the house and get cracking, cleaning what I can because, let’s be honest, we’ve all been a bit slobbish during the lockdown. Doing chores gives you a small bit of physical activity and once you’re done, gives you that clean space which will help clear your mind of horrible thoughts.

Once I’ve done my chores, I get changed into my active wear and get working out, squats, sit ups, anything to get my body moving and working out to exert some of that nervous energy I might be feeling.

Next I shower and pamper myself, taking my time which is something I couldn’t normally do outside lockdown as there was always too much to do.

After my shower I finish my pamper session with a full body moisturiser and straightening my hair so that I feel good about myself. I get dressed in my favourite clothes and finally sit down on the sofa.

I’ll browse social media for a while, working on the business, checking emails and such before I stop for lunch, something relatively healthy like a  cous cous salad or some soup.

After my late lunch, I finally rest, watching netflix with my partner, sometimes treating ourselves to a cheeky drink or two. It feels good to relax after such a busy day.

Obviously, I mix it up, workout at different times of the day, go for walks but I always like to be productive before I sit down and relax for the day. It lures my brain into thinking its had a busy day.

All this being said, I slipped up on this last week when I forgot to keep up with my routine. I stayed in bed  for 1 or 2 days until nearly midday, checking obsessively over the news to see whether lockdown was coming to an end soon. I neglected my exercise and my meals were sporadic. I was slipping into depression and if I wasn’t careful I’d end up miserable and bringing the rest of the household down with negativity.

So one morning I forced myself to get up and get coffee even though I really didn’t want to. I wanted to stay safe and warm under the covers, forgetting about the days ahead of us.

I sipped my coffee and contemplated the day and continued writing this article because its what I knew calmed me down.

My fingers felt heavy on the keyboard, hesitant almost, as if I had nothing to say, yet they kept on and before I knew it I had more than enough to say.

During this lockdown we have been told to look after our most vulnerable people but what if our most vulnerable people are those we can’t see clearly by facts and figures, what if those vulnerable people are those who struggle with worries and fears everyday? Surely if we can boost our own positivity we can improve our time in lockdown (and come out looking amazing due to all the workouts and self pampering sessions we’ve all had!)

What are your thoughts? How are you coping with lockdown? Let us know on Facebook, continue the conversation and share the things you do to make yourself feel good during lockdown.

Dealing with the stresses of lockdown- Part 1

As we enter week 5 of the UK lockdown, it’s clear to see that everyone is trying their best to follow the rules and stay home where possible.

There are less queues at the supermarket across the way from me, less people on the streets walking and an increase in people wearing homemade masks.

However important it is to stay home and stop the spread of the virus, it’s still affecting people incredibly. The rise in domestic violence is frightening, and its splayed all over Facebook where people are finding staying at home straining.

There are people like me, who lost their jobs when the epidemic started and applied for help and still have not received a penny. Then families staying in one property have an immense amount of strain placed on them as the contact is sheer overload, similarly, those home alone have no contact and are striving human contact. It’s this team of both financial worry and human contact which are causing a lot of people to suffer with mental health issues like anxiety and depression who maybe hadn’t experienced it before.

It’s these people who are plodding along but not knowing why they feel the way they feel. They’ll describe it as frustration or boredom but might have a cry when it gets too much.

It’s these people I want to address, these people I want to extend my heartfelt thoughts to. Yes, you’re struggling and you don’t have to compare yourself to others.

Too often I hear “well so and so have it much worse than me” as if offering yourself a sadness borderline where if you reach that line you’ll agree to be sad instead of accepting that you’re sad now.

It important to look at your own feelings, observe how this lockdown is affecting you and coming up with an action plan to make the most of it.

For instance, I’m a massive advocate for writing. By now you should know this if you’ve been following the blog. Most mornings since lockdown, I’ve had a certain routine. While my boyfriend sleeps, I browse the news in bed, not too much about Covid-19, mind you, but I try and find other stories as well, before I get up, make myself a coffee and read a magazine or a book.

It’s this quiet morning reflection and routine which calms me down, gives me time for me to reflect and truly think about what needs to be done during the rest of the day.

It’s easy to slip into a routine of getting out of bed late, staying in your pyjamas and binge watching yet another series on netflix but do you know what that sounds synonymous with? Depression. People with depression find it hard to get out of bed, find it hard to motivate themselves. And yes, it’s hard to break this routine once you have it but good god, breaking that habit is possibly the best thing you can do for your mental health.

In my next article I’ll discuss my routine for the day and how I break the depression cycle. Stay tuned for more or start a conversation on Facebook, I reply regularly and am happy to discuss anything about the points discussed in this article.