DEALING WITH A WINTER LOCKDOWN
Tips to improve wellbeing and look after your mental health during winter lockdown 2.0
We have now spent the last eight months of our lives navigating and persevering through the challenging and unprecedented times of the pandemic. Unfortunately, with the winter months ahead of us, we are now facing a second lockdown under even tougher circumstances than the first. Although, we are now armed with a better understanding of how to cope with our wellbeing through the adjustments we have already had to make during the first lockdown earlier in the year.
However, mental health experts have warned that a lockdown through winter may be exponentially more challenging than the first, without the outlets we relied on through the warmer months such as picnics, sunbathing, BBQs in the garden and long walks. Instead we are faced with shorter days which appear to drag out longer, and darkness at 4pm which can be extremely demotivating. But there are things you can do to support your wellbeing in your personal life to fight off the loneliness and help find some motivation.
If the second lockdown has left you feeling stressed, or you’re worried about the impact this will have on your mental health, we have some proactive steps we’d like to share that might help you prepare for a winter spent at home.
2020 hasn’t been the greatest year in terms of good news, this can have a great impact on our wellbeing so it’s better to focus on the positives, rather than the negatives and spend less time listening to coverage of the outbreak. It’s still important to keep updated, however taking a break and limiting the negative news you consume is a great way to alleviate stress.
A lockdown during the winter months could be particularly isolating, that’s why it’s more important now than ever that we’re there for each other during these challenging times. Schedule in time to call your friends or loved ones, this will help keep routine to day-to-day life. Zoom quizzes were a big hit over the first lockdown and are a great way to maintain healthy relationships which is essential for our wellbeing.
Regular exercise is not only good for your body, but it is also very important for your mind. Try to remain active by wrapping up warm and going for a crisp morning walk, getting that fresh air every day can be great for reducing stress and boosting your mood. Nourishment is also key, by eating healthy, well -balanced meals, our physical health will prevail and we’re less likely to fall into unhealthy patterns.
By establishing a healthy routine, you will create positive habits such as maintaining a good body clock and ensuring you get enough sleep each night. By sticking to a routine, you can create mental boundaries, small things such as getting dressed each day will help you prepare for a day at work. Planning out your week, scheduling in some time to do the things you enjoy and even starting a new hobby or joining an online course may help.
Although you might already be a pro by now, as we progress into the long winter days it’s important that you have an area at home, you’re able to work in a positive and comfortable environment. Separating work and home life might become difficult, however by putting some boundaries in place such as designating work areas this can become more easily achievable. It might also be worth investing in some new comforts such as a comfy office chair or some fresh flowers to brighten up the area.
If you’re struggling through the winter lockdown, remember you are never alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a loved one, a friend, a mental health organisation or a doctor if you’re in need of any help. There are always things you can do to get further support for your wellbeing to help you process your emotions and help you deal with them in a heathy way, remember we are all in this together.
We hope these steps will help support your mental and physical wellbeing through the second lockdown, stay resilient and we will get through these tougher times and come out of it stronger than ever. .