How to Stay Connected During Lockdown
For most of the past year, there have been restrictions on who we can see and where we can go. There’s no doubt that having limited contact with people can make us feel lonely and no longer connected to friends and family. But this lack of engagement and stimulation can make us feel disconnected from ourselves too. We come alive when we are around other people, so spending long periods alone or just with the same few people, can make us forget who we were pre-pandemic. Friends have talked of feeling stripped of their personality, particularly with it being impossible to meet in a group. And when there is nothing much to do other than walk and probably talk about the pandemic, it is understandable that life is seeming a little repetitive. Here are some tips for staying connected with your friends and family and to feel more yourself.
Make time for self-care and self-love
We’re often a little hard on ourselves at the moment, maybe feeling we are being lazy or unproductive – especially if you had big plans for 2020/2021! We put a lot of pressure on trying to make the most of every day, but sometimes, you just don’t feel like it! It’s perfectly OK to have a lazy day (or week) and just take some time to relax.
It is also completely understandable that we don’t feel the best about ourselves, when we have been wearing leisurewear for the best part of a year and may not be bothering too much with self-care. However if doing a workout, or washing your hair, or putting a bit of make-up on for your zoom call will make you feel a little more like yourself, then why not give it a go?!
Try & get back to a routine, which includes things to look forward to
With some of us still on furlough, many self-employed still out of work, and 9-5-ers spending all day stuck in their bedrooms, life can seem a little monotonous and repetitive at the moment. You may have a work routine, but are you doing anything fun regularly?
Obviously, it’s more difficult in a winter lockdown, but doing things we enjoy is crucial for our mental health. Whether that’s movie nights, at home dinner date nights, housemate bake offs or Come Dine With Me, board game afternoons, dog walks, karaoke, watching stand-up comedies, a silent disco in your kitchen, Mario Kart games night, writing, reading or whatever you want to do, it’s so important to have things to look forward to. Plan a few activities for some evenings for the rest of the month, and see if this helps.
Do your bit for others
At the moment, it can be easy to feel sorry for ourselves and spend a lot of time working through our own stresses and worries. Why not try and see how you can help other people, whether that’s a long chat with a friend who’s struggling, or volunteering for a charity or helpline. Not only will it positively affect someone else’s life, but it may be a welcome distraction, which helps you feel a little better about yourself. It’s a well known fact that helping others makes us feel good, giving us a sense of purpose and responsibility. Try to do at least one thing a week that can help someone else.
How to volunteer in your area:
Try to stay positive and remember, things will get better. A few people have asked me recently what I am looking forward to doing when life gets back to normal, and it took me a little while to remember what I used to enjoy doing every week!
Remind yourself of times you were happy, whether that’s scrolling back through your Instagram posts from last summer or reading funny conversations you’ve had with friends. That can get you excited for when life starts to get back to normal. Send some of those funny memories to your friends too, as they may well need the same boost!
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