It's ok to not feel ok, but let's sort that out!
There’s certainly been a lot of trauma and mental health bashing as a result of the past year of Covid. There’s been the issue of gender inequality within the household, the money worries and concern about the stability of jobs, the endless juggling of house, children and work, and then there’s social media and people saying how they’ve managed xy and z in lockdown, why haven’t you??! All this is enough to tip many people over the edge!
You're maybe emotionally exhausted and feeling despondent about everything. You may just be feeling a bit low or anxious. Or it may have affected you in a more intense way. Everyone has been affected differently and your emotions are every bit as valid as the next person’s. As the saying goes, we’re all in the same storm, just different boats.
Now, it's ok to not feel ok, but we obviously don't WANT to feel crap if we can help it! Clearly I don’t want to downplay the effects of people's mental health, and I appreciate it’s not like we can simply decide to be happy, but there are simple strategies that can help in some way:
Work on a new daily routine. We got out of a routine when we went into lockdown and you may or may not have got in to a new one, but now things are kind of coming back to normal we need to change again. Having structure and routine helps clear and focus the mind.
Get outside with nature. Getting outdoors has proven health benefits, not least in that we get some fresh air in our lungs and soak up some vitamin D. Many of us took to walking, running or cycling in lockdown and it’s just a great way to keep the heart moving and to just switch off for a bit.
Following on from that, just moving and doing some exercise will hopefully engage those endorphins and make you feel better, fitter and healthier, which then has an impact on your mental wellbeing as well as the physical.
Get your nutrition right. Now I’m not talking diets, but instead picking foods that are rich in nutrients and that help give you energy. A diet filled with heavy, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol isn’t going to boost your mood.
Choose the tools that work for you. Baking bread might have helped some people through lockdown, but baking may not be your forte. Don’t force yourself to do things you’re not bothered about or don’t excite you, but find something that does. Something that takes you to a happy place.
Make your goals realistic. Don’t set that bar too high. If things aren’t that attainable you’re only going to stress yourself out more than needed. Set some short term goals, that feed into a bigger one further down the line.
Be kind to yourself. It’s going to be strange and potentially a bit hard coming out of lockdown. We’ve been cooped up for so long it’s weird to think about our life as it once was. Don’t try and do everything. Don’t worry if you don’t fancy doing something just because you can. Take things at your own pace.
Be thankful and compassionate to others. Offer some random acts of kindness. By offering complements makes you and the recipient feel happy, so it’s a win win. And why not do a journal and list 3 things you’re grateful for at the end of each day.
If you need any help with your health and wellbeing, then I'd be happy to have a chat and see if I can help. I'm all about getting people living their best life - not just through exercise, but nutrition, stress management, self-care and sleep management.
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