This period is a trying time for everyone - businesses, people and animals alike. Recognising and keeping to governmental & NHS advice to stay at home and practise social distancing is integral to preventing the virus spreading further, so we have come up with suggestions of how to relieve any anxiety, mental stress and keep positive and upbeat during this time.
When you get your blood flowing and your body moving, you release endorphins, such as serotonin which teaches your body how to react better to difficult situations and combats stress. There are now thousands of free yoga and exercise classes on YouTube; we love a good Joe Wicks, and many gyms, content curators and athletes are now live-streaming classes from home. If you are not in actual quarantine, go for a walk or run outside, whilst still practicing social distancing. This is an easy way to also keep yourself in a routine and maintain some normality. As a suggestion - you might find it easiest to stick to if you make yourself a schedule for each day where you factor in your exercise.
When you first start, meditation can feel very difficult to get into. Nowadays our minds are constantly moving at 1000 miles an hour and we often forget to take the time to stop, breath and recenter ourselves. Meditation is a great way to combat stress and reflect on what we should be thankful for, which is key during this isolating and lonely time. There are now 100s of apps and tutorials to get you started. We would suggest beginners try Calm or Headspace.
Speak to people
Now more than ever, speaking to people is vital to ensure you keep positive during this time. Calling your colleagues rather than emailing them, scheduling a call with friends and family every day and even getting the neighbours numbers and giving them a call once in a while is vital. We all thrive off talking to each other - and isolation should not stop this at all.
Take up a new hobby
A hobby is an invaluable and often forgotten treasure in the modern world. A hobby is something you should do purely for yourself or for fun. During quarantine it's a great time to start doing something with your hands, whether it is learning to embroider, painting or finally doing that 1000 piece puzzle your aunt gave you two years ago. By doing something tactile, you engage your brain more and, much like exercise, it helps you produce more endorphins.
De-clutter your life and mind
Everyone will have a list of ‘life admin’ that needs to get crossed off. Nowadays we are so busy and rarely get the time to do things we want to do, let alone the chores we should do. During quarantine it is the perfect time to have a spring clean, repurpose your wardrobe or simply change that light bulb that hasn’t worked for a year. It is also a great chance to look at your schedule and social life, assess how you spend your time and think about if you are using it in the right way or the way that makes you happy.
Think about what you’re grateful for
Whether it is starting to write a line and day or keeping a journal, this is a fantastic way to keep track of your thoughts, and during times when you are feeling down, you can look back and reflect on what is important to you. A great way to begin is at the start of the day write down 3 things you are grateful for and then just before you go to bed add in why.
Much like meditation, a bath is the perfect time to slow down, take a break from being online and have some time to yourself. A relaxing bath can be made even better with bubbles, salts, oils, candles and face masks. At times like this it is important to treasure the little things and simple pleasures in life.
Learn something new
The internet is now full of online courses for you to try. Learning a new skill will give you something outside of work to immerse yourself in and help take your mind off these difficult times. If you are keen to learn a new language Duolingo is a fantastic app which you can download onto your phone or for something a bit different, check out edX or Skillshare.
Cook and bake
Many of us many find cooking intimidating and I am sure we all know that sinking feeling when a recipe goes horribly wrong. But now all restaurants and bars are closed it is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen and learn a new skill. If you don’t have cook books at home there is a whole library of recipes online and if anyone is interested in learning how to make their own artisan bread, try out Sourdough.
Remember that you’re not alone
We should all practise self care, but it is also important to have a support system and maintain a community, which for some is extremely challenging during quarantine. Whether it is checking in with friends via facetime, chatting to colleagues on your daily hangout or simply giving a loved one a call, it’s really important to maintain some sort of social interaction. If you are able to go outside consider taking the time to help others, as there are lots of elderly and vulnerable people that will need support with buying groceries and other everyday tasks. If you are ever feeling extremely lonely, isolated or feel you have no one to talk too, you can always call the Samaritans for support. And remember, the whole world is in this together, you are not alone.