Tips for adjusting to our enclosed new life style: Lockdown
How are you adapting to work at home, socialising at home, exercising at home? Maybe you're cutting your own hair? The longer we stay inside, the more the difference intensifies. Lockdown also means shut down, stay in, lockup.
Obey draconian measures first and think after. Adjusting to a new norm takes time. In the meantime, maybe you're beating yourself up for lack of productivity. Maybe you feel your partner is getting onto you about it. Maybe lockdown represents a badly needed holiday; joy for introverts perhaps.
Still, many of us have our own reason to scream. Sleep isn't easy when the days roll into one. Relationships are not romantic when the date is 24x7. Cooking is not a pleasure without groceries. But how can we know the strategies when the lifestyle is unknown?
Isolation, reclusion for extroverts can be quite different; a new norm needs new boundaries. Recreating aspects of existence virtually can also cut out life's dynamics, and leave you feeling flat.
Read on for tips to help you cope:
- I let myself off the hook; I try not to succumb to our ingrained need to be productive.
- I remind myself that depression, anxiety and relationship difficulties are normal - and they can be managed.
- Realistically, we can limit our exposure to the media as well as to virus spread. If you're already anxious, media exposure can lead on to panic.
Anxiety with plenty of reason = stress and even panic attacks.
- Do what you can to protect yourself & family: excellent hygiene and social distancing.
- Action is a good antidote to anxiety, there's a lot you can do - stay home.
Do your part in protecting your community and vulnerable people.
Think beyond yourself, get groceries, give blood.
- Chew on what's uncomfortable and you'll help minimise this terrible event and eventually save lives.
- Focus on what you can be grateful for, not what you wish would change.
- Enjoy the warmer, brighter weather.
- Make gratitude lists.
- Stop narrowly focussing on things that are worsening; there are also good things emerging.
- Maintain a routine to bring back normalcy as daily routines have come to a halt.
- Follow the same eat and sleep schedule.
- Nutrition and movement are very important for the body and mind.
- Limit alcohol and eat healthy to increase immunity.
- If you can't leave home find an exercise app. Get up every 30 minutes.
- Reach out to loved ones, reconnect to old friends. Social isolation can lead to depression and even shorter lives. Just because you are physically distant you can still reach out and stay connected.
Tools like Skype, Zoom, Facebook make it easier to do so without putting yourself at risk.
- Asking how others are boosts their mental health; they experience the perception of support.
- Guided meditation apps can help calm your mental health and manage anxiety. Just breathe. Experience the anxiety-reducing magic of mindfulness by simply breathing. When you feel out of control you can reinstate calm, use the 4-7-8. Inhale for 4, hold for 7, exhale for 8. What matters most is that the exhale is longer.
How therapy can help:
Seek virtual help from mental health professionals or download a de-stress application. Many services are changing in view of Coronavirus, including online therapy (and some reduced rates are available).
The silver lining of this lockdown directive is it forces us to slow-down.
We can still express love, play with being creative, simply meditate.
These things all help to make confinement bearable.
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