Tips to stay sane during this covid-19 lockdown
If, like many of us, you have been struggling being under lockdown - anxious with the uncertainty or feeling alone and isolated, then you may be showing signs of emotional distress. In order to reduce this worry, you first have to believe that you can manage your emotions.
When experiencing emotions such as fear, sadness, anger or rejection its easy to get lost in negative thoughts. Playing scenes over in your head and becoming more overwhelmed. This is called 'rumination' and can cause further distress as you focus on the problem which is often outside of your control, for instance, this pandemic we are currently living through. It's beyond our control, however, we can manage our own words, thoughts, actions and behaviours in relation to it.
Learning to regulate your emotions can lessen their impact in the moment.
Next time you find yourself in an anxious state, look for ways to reframe the situation or find that silver lining by asking yourself the following questions:
- What have I learned from this experience?
- How can I benefit myself and others during this time?
- What am I grateful for at the moment?
- What can I say, do or plan to help matters?
- What am I in control of and what is outside of my control in this scenario?
Your energy goes where your thoughts are so if you are overthinking in a negative way you are giving too much power and influence to that negative thought. Instead, acknowledge the negative thought and then challenge it with an alternative more neutral or positive thought.
Use your internal dialogue and choose your words carefully. Speak to yourself as you would to a good friend in a warm compassionate accepting way. Offer reassurance to the worried part of you and create a self-care routine that increases the release of happy hormones. This could be watching your favourite movie or listening to calming music or even using guided meditation. Shift your physical and emotional energy by moving your body in dance, yoga or jogging on the spot and distract your mind with fond memories of people you love and places that inspire you.
Detox from the news a bit and switch off from social media every now and then to regain a sense of calm and peace. If you have a garden use it to escape and enjoy snacks and relax in.
Find new ways of enjoying being at home, learn to cook/bake/read more/ take up a new hobby/ learn a new language.
Find meaning inside yourself - work on your own personal development to become the best version of yourself. You can use the time wisely to get to know yourself better - instead of focussing on the outside world.
Ponder on questions like:
- Who am I?
- What do I like/dislike?
- What values do I hold and have they changed over the years?
- What are my dreams and aspirations short term/longer-term?
- How can I help myself and others to find meaning in life?
- How can I look after myself better? Self-care routine?
If you enjoy art then express thoughts and feelings through drawing, painting or dance.
If you enjoy writing then journal or write poetry, the idea is that you find an outlet that suits you.
Only when you are in top form are you able to be helpful to yourself and others - so work on yourself and others can get the best of you too. What better time to start than now?