How to Cope with the Stress and Anxieties of Lockdown
So, how are you doing?
Since the pandemic took over the world, it’s been tough for a lot of us. We can’t go on holiday. We can’t visit loved ones. Some of us can’t even leave the house.
It’s normal for parents and children alike to feel anxious, stressed and frightened about what the future is going to hold. You can’t help but wonder if the world is ever going to go back to normal.
While the introduction of vaccinations is promising, the end of the pandemic is still a long way off. But it’s not healthy for your mental state to continue with this mental anguish, anxiety and stress. If you’re feeling this way, try these methods to help you get through these times of uncertainty.
Many of us tend to think of lockdown as isolation, which can lead to loneliness, stress and anxiety around not being able to socialise with our friends and family.
But what if you could reframe lockdown as a way to rediscover yourself. Make a list of all the tasks you’ve been putting off. Start reading the books you’ve always wanted to read. Utilise this time to reconnect with yourself and the type of person you want to become.
Focussing on one productive task per day can help you reframe the feeling of being trapped, to using it as an opportunity to improve yourself and get on top of your life.
Attempt a “Normal” Routine
If you can cast your mind back to pre-quarantine days, consider replicating the routine you once had before you spent most of your time at home.
Try to wake up at the same time and complete your morning ritual before you headed to work, even though you might be heading to another room. You should even dress as though you’re leaving the house and going into the office.
You can also do this with the kids. Have them get ready for school and make them play outside during breaks. The closer you can replicate the pre-quarantine routines, the better your headspace will be. You’ll even begin appreciating the weekends differently.
Turn Off the News
It’s not necessary to learn every single detail about COVID-19. Even if you’re in an area that’s a hot-spot, there are other ways you can learn about restrictions and what you can and can’t do without watching or reading every single news report.
The news has a tendency to focus on the dramatic circumstances, and if you’re already feeling stressed and anxious, these reports won’t help.
While social media can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, you should also monitor your usage here as well. If you find yourself being overwhelmed by negative posts, disturbing images, or sad news, then you should try to avoid logging in every day so that you don’t get overexposed to it.
There is a theory that if your house is in a certain condition, then it will reflect your mental state. So if you’re anxious and stressed, then your home might seem a little chaotic and messy. If you are feeling this way, then lockdown could be an opportunity to get organised and create a new cleaning routine.
Start by setting some boundaries around the house. Don’t eat your breakfast or dinner in bed. Eat it at a table or countertop. You shouldn’t work in the living room either. Instead, use this area for rest and relaxation. Complete your tasks in an office or at a dedicated desk.
Try to avoid clutter as well. Over time this will only continue to build up and can lead to a feeling of claustrophobia. At the end of each day, get rid of everything that you don’t need and try to maintain a tidy environment for you to work and live in.
Start a New Habit
With more time on your hands, now’s the opportunity to start a new habit. It could be a hobby that you’ve always wanted to try or an exercise program that you’ve never been able to make stick.
It might seem like your choices are limited, but there are a ton of resources to help you master a new habit. You can learn a language with free and paid applications. There are videos that can you teach you how to cook interesting meals. You might even want to do a course to upskill yourself and earn a pay rise at work.
There are also simple habits that you can start, like taking a walk to get a coffee every morning or creating a journal to get all of the thoughts out of your head. You might even just want to finish a book once a month. Whatever it may be, now is the seize the opportunity of free time.
Reach Out for Help
COVID-19 is a once in a generation pandemic that has shaken the world to its core. As such, not all of us are capable of taking control of our stress and anxiety. If this is you, your children, or someone you know, then it’s best to reach out to a professional who can discuss what you’re going through and help improve your situation.
Forever Young People has years of experience working with individuals who have suffered mental health issues, anxiety, trauma, and stress. We take a holistic approach by getting an understanding of where you are today and then creating a plan to help improve your situation. Contact us if you need someone to talk to about COVID-19, lockdowns, or life in general.
One more thing, please be mindful of others but also yourself. We each will be feeling our own way, certain actions may feel more personal than they usually would. When there is so much put into place to divide us, now is the time to stand together. We don't always have to agree but that doesn't mean we have to be enemies.
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” Elon Musk