As the summer approaches, I notice more and more that I am counting the days spent in lockdown. I have been working from home for over 12 weeks. More than ever I am missing my family, friends, colleagues and my ‘normal’ daily life. Along with everyone else I have had good days and not so good days, sometimes I am full of beans and feeling positive but on the other hand, I have also struggled with lack of routine, trouble sleeping and concerns about how long things will be like this.
Reflecting back on this now I can see clearly that there are certain things which I can take control of to help myself and aspects which I have no control over but somehow need to ‘let go’ of. It’s now that within my team at Lancashire Mind we have all been discussing the importance of practising what we advise others to do! For example, making sure I get up and go to sleep at the same time, have my coffee before I start work, continue to exercise as I would normally and to spend time practising the five ways to wellbeing...
Give, I am taking part in the Lancashire Mind Breaking Boundaries challenge and have pledges to run or walk 30 miles a week to fundraise for Lancashire Mind.
Take notice, I notice more now when things are changing around me, how more and more places are opening and returning to work, the colourful rocks which people have painted and put outside their homes. Lockdown has definitely made me slow down in daily life and this is something I want to continue to do when it’s all over.
Keep learning, I love reading but when daily life takes over I stop doing it. Why do I do this when I know it’s something I enjoy? I have been making sure that every night I set aside some time to escape into a book. I have learned how important this is for my own wellbeing and getting a good nights’ sleep.
I try to Be active on a regular basis, as not only does it improve my physical health by also my mental health and wellbeing. It makes me feel good, it’s my opportunity to put aside anything which may be going on and focus on what I am doing in that moment. (Possibly because I have to concentrate and can’t think about anything else!)
Each day I am grateful to be able to Connect with my colleagues, family and friends using technology. This is what is keeping us all going! As humans we need interaction with other people to look after our mental health, it reduces feelings of isolation, improves connection and reduced risk to cardiovascular health amongst many other things.
As I write this I realise that everyone, worldwide is going through this pandemic in some way, shape or form. Because of this, it is important for me to continue to be kind to others, as this situation may be exacerbating anxiety, stress and depression for people. I am also aware that it could be the first time some people have ever had these thoughts and feelings and they don’t know what to do with them.
In addition to this, we should all be kinder and more patient with ourselves. Focus on the present and take each day at a time, continue to do the things we enjoy. We aren’t going through it alone and speaking to others; friends, family or local services definitely helps! By doing so, I am able to remain positive that we will get through this and I may even be grateful of this experience and learning these skills at some point in the future!