The ultimate guide to staying sane (and maybe even flourishing) during lockdown
As we officially enter our second lockdown here in the UK, there’s been a lot of discussion around how we can best prepare for what lies ahead. We understand that many of you may be feeling anxious or exhausted right now, especially when we all hoped that the worst of the pandemic was behind us. If this is you, we want you to know that you’re not alone.
In principle, staying at home should be the easiest possible task – however the reality is not so simple. An excess of alone time can feel overwhelming, and whether you live with your family, partner, or by yourself, the first lockdown taught us that the pandemic brings different challenges for all of us. So that’s why we’ve put together a collection of ideas to create a stress-free home environment, and help you maintain good mental health during lockdown to keep the blues at bay.
Getting Creative – home decor & creative hacks
The environment we live in has a HUGE impact on how we feel day to day. Whilst now may not be the best time for a complete home refurb, here are some simple ways that you can upgrade your home into the ultimate stress-free sanctuary.
- Time to Declutter – Sometimes keeping your surfaces as free of clutter as possible is one of the simplest steps to create an oasis of calm. Now is a fantastic time to buy some organisers, or why not try a bit of upcycling? An old basket could become your newest space for laundry, and your prettiest tins and mugs could easily double as pencil pots or makeup brush holders. Setting aside fifteen minutes each evening to tidy your space is the perfect recipe for waking up feeling peaceful. If you’re tight on space, keeping your work area separate from the rest of your room is an incredible way to both work and wind down effectively.
- Let’s Get Cosy – As we enter the winter months, it’s essential that we create environments that feel safe, warm and homely. Why not fill up your space with photos of your loved ones? When stuck indoors, being surrounded by pictures of our family, friends and pets can provide some much needed comfort. You can also stock up on warm blankets to snuggle in and candles and tealights to soften the winter darkness. Many people struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) around this time of year, investing in a therapeutic light box could help to replace the natural night you’re missing out on.
- Bringing the Outdoors In – Missing the outdoors? Why not amp up your mood with some greenery. Studies have shown that indoor plants can help to soothe anxiety, de-stress and boost your mood. Taking daily care of our plants is also a simple reminder to treat ourselves with the same levels of care. Natural light is also a fantastic energiser; why not reshuffle your furniture so that your desk is next to a window? Placing mirrors and reflective photos indoors is also a great hack to reflect incoming light from outside.
Out With the Old – helpful habits to add to your daily routine
As great as it is to have a relaxing home environment, your mental health is even more important than your physical surroundings. Here are some thoughtful actions to implement into your lockdown routine that will help keep your mindset peaceful and positive.
4. Keeping a Routine – With the days slipping into weeks and months, it’s easier than ever to sleep in, eat late and stay on our laptops until the early morning hours. Having a routine provides consistency and the confidence to face the day even in the trickiest of times. We recommend starting each morning by setting yourself two productive tasks for the day, and two self-care missions. Whether that’s going for a walk, trying out a new recipe or calling an old friend – it’ll give you the boost you need to get up and active.
5. Mindful Media – The world is an overwhelming place right now. With everything going on, it can be far too easy to get lost in a sea of bad news amidst our desire to stay informed. We’d recommend limiting your news time to 20 minutes in the middle of the day; that way you wont be starting or ending your day on a bad note. Want some positivity-boosting news sources? Why not check out the Positive News, our collection of blog posts or subscribe to the fantastic and affordable The Happy News. If you’re looking for some upbeat things to watch, why not opt for an inspiring Ted talk, a thought-provoking School of Life video or some cheerful binging of Netflix’s New Girl or Modern Family.
6. Stay Connected – Whilst spending time by ourselves is important, when we’re stuck at home alone time can quickly turn into us isolating ourselves. Make it your mission to speak to one person each day. Whether that’s sending a new song recommendation to your best friend or giving your mum a call, staying connected in small and simple ways can help to stop us looking inward too much. As well as being beneficial for us, you never know who might really need to hear your voice! Now is a wonderful time to virtually care for those we might usually neglect, such as grandparents, siblings or forgotten friends.
We hope these ideas helped to inspire you to make some positive changes, and feel a little more comfortable about going into a second lockdown. Whatever you’re feeling is valid – just remember to prioritise your wellbeing, and check in on those who might need help around you. For a complete list of resources, check out Mind’s tips for better living.