5 Ways to Well-Being During Lockdown 3 by Marie Isles
We find ourselves and our lives being up turned once again! Amidst the panic and the constant flux that this pandemic brings us – there are some tried and tested ways to take care of our wellbeing. Here are 5 different suggestions you might like to try.
1 CONNECT – specifically, connect with others. Try and engage in a way that builds and strengthens relationships. Not only does it make us, and others feel valued it can also leave us with warm fuzzy feelings in our tums! Try and stay authentic and genuine, it can be easy to get caught up with feeling like you want to impress and end up pretending especially when social media has a strong influence. Ways you can CONNECT: Reach out and call/message someone you haven’t spoken to recently; it could be someone from school or from an activity. Worried what to say? It could be as simple as “Hi, Hope this message finds you well? – It would be good to hear from you as I’ve missed not seeing you in Class/Dance. Hope to speak soon Take care”. Make a group chat, invite like-minded people it could be around a sport/craft/activity/ gaming. Share something that will engage others to reply – Has anyone got any tips on how to _ _ _ _ _ _ ? or sharing something funny that will make people smile or how about reaching out and talking to a family member it could be an Aunt/Grandparent. A lovely way to do this is to reminisce over a shared experience – “Do you remember the holiday we all went on?” “Do you remember the time we all went to the park and it poured with rain?”
2 BE ACTIVE – What do we mean? Exactly that, the stats and research are plentiful – walking, jogging, playing sport, training all help to make and leave us feeling good. Exercise produces positive endorphins and can help regulate our emotions. Just go for it, try not to set unrealistic targets because if you don’t reach them, you’re more likely to give up altogether. Aim to build up at first a ten minute walk becomes a twenty minute fast walk or one round of circuits becomes two. Ways you can BE ACTIVE: Take the dog for a walk or borrow one if you don’t have one! It gives you a purpose to get out for a walk. Buddy up, even though were in lockdown you can meet with one other, arrange to meet up with a friend for a walk or exercise session or how about looking online? There are loads of YouTube exercise videos from yoga with Adrianne to HIT with Joe wicks.
3 KEEP LEARNING – Learning helps to strengthen and create our neural pathways! It literally ignites and lights up our brains! It’s not just about keeping up with schoolwork.
Ways you can KEEP LEARNING: If you have an interest in cooking try a new recipe each week, if you enjoy languages have a go at learning a new one free with duolingo.com, if you have a passion for sport practice the skills you find tricky, if you Like brainteasers, see if you can solve a Rubik’s cube. The internet has scores of information, recipes, online tuition videos to help you along the way. If you’re not keen on learning activities reading could work for you, it opens a whole new world of learning. Even gaming can be a learning activity especially when you are challenged to think creatively and strategically. It’s important to find things that you enjoy and have interest in, so that it doesn’t become a chore.
4 GIVE TO OTHERS – This may be tricky in the current lock down as we are not able to get out and about freely. However, there are still ways in which you can give to others. The act of giving helps to create a feeling of purpose, it builds our self-esteem and can give us feelings of reward and satisfaction. Ways you can GIVE: Help with something at home, could you offer to help home school a younger sibling, hoover and tidy up, a simple thing such as making a cup of tea for a parent. Call/text a Grandparent to see how they are. There are so many small ways to give and share kindness.
5 PAY ATTENTION (not just in class) – what does paying attention mean? It is about actively taking notice of what is around you, you could be walking to the shop but so focused on what you need to get that you don’t notice the magic of the rainbow above! This sounds a bit twee but we get so caught up with thinking that we forget or don’t see what is in the here and now. We could all do with moments that help us to see the beauty in the world and slow down our minds. It can really help to calm anxiety and reduce stress. For a double-whammy feel good factor combine your moment of calm with a simple breathing exercise; try square breathing, inhale through the nose to the count of four, exhale gently through the mouth to the count of four- repeat.
It would be fantastic to think that you are looking after your own wellbeing.
If you choose to do one thing from the 5 that’s amazing.
Marie Isles is a Director of PHASE, Mentor and Counsellor and has many years of experience of supporting young people in various settings.