The damage that lockdown has done to the economy is apparent, it has put our lives on hold and made things pretty rubbish. But lockdown’s effects on our mental health isn’t as apparent but its impact is no less great.
The claustrophobia of being stuck inside the same four walls, save for a daily walk or collection of a parcel has been very affecting for a lot of people, including the person writing this.
I thought in my blog for this month I’d offer up a few techniques/tips/stuff that makes things a little better during this time if you’re struggling. Remember if you ever want to speak to someone services like the Samaritans, Mind and Calm are available for you to use.
Switch Off From Work
If you’re furloughed then this may not apply to you but for those working from home, this is an important one. Treat your laptop, spare room or home office the same way you would treat your actual office and leave at 5:30. Close the laptop, shut the door if you don’t have those luxuries then just put your computer away in a draw. Physically removing yourself from work is a great way of switching off. In these times, I’ve found switching off from work to be super helpful in adjusting my headspace.
Hit That ‘Airplane Mode’ Button
Social media usage has rocketed during this time and while I’ll admit it, it does have its uses, memes and critical information about a pandemic etc, excessive use of social media has been proven to not be so good for your noggin. So, here’s a controversial idea. Why not swipe up, hit aeroplane mode and enjoy an hour or two of tech-free bliss. No pointless twitter arguments, no looking at your Auntie’s Facebook posts and importantly a mental break for yourself!
This time at home can be a positive one, instead of staring at the same wall after work, book some time in to open up a book and read up on a topic that you’ve been meaning to educate yourself on or why not sharpen those cooking skills? Engaging your brain in a different task that isn’t your usual work can do wonders in terms of shutting off, quieting your mind and resetting yourself. I’ve really enjoyed cooking more when I finish work, as someone who doesn’t like to sit down for too long, being active, creating something and watching ingredients come together is really gratifying.
Run, Walk, Jog!
Outdoor exercise, be it a run, jog, walk or bodyweight workout gets your cardiovascular workout in and it means you can get outdoors and enjoy nature. Sprinting past trees, planting one foot in front of the other, headphones playing something loud, focusing on your breathing… there are few things better for your mental health than these things, trust me. Don’t put any pressure on it, don’t time it or worry about being too fast or slow. Just live in that moment, that’s all you need to do.
Be Creative Outside Of Your Job
As someone who considers himself being in a creative role, as a content executive here at Embryo Digital, it can be tempting to limit yourself creativity to when you’re at work. To do this, however, would be robbing you of a chance to work on stuff you’re truly passionate about. Whether you’re a writer, graphic designer, social media manager or web developer, find time after work to use your skills on a project. Recontextualizing your creativity so you don’t always think about it through the lens of work can be a really powerful tool, especially considering the normal 9-5 office is no longer.