It is now the third week of lockdown for us in the UK, and so I wanted to do a sort of updated to-do list now that I myself feel a lot less motivated and more anxious as time has gone on.
If you’re still in a good place, then great. If you want to use this time to get things done, like learning new things or the like, then great, go you!
But in case it wasn’t obvious, I wanted to be someone who gives you permission to not do those things. If you can’t bring yourself to do it; if you feel low, unmotivated or anxious, you’re not alone.
I feel myself declining a little; many ups and downs…
And so, I wanted to write a list of self-care things to do when feeling this decline.
This doesn’t mean work out, although you can if you want (it’ll be really good for you and lift your mood with endorphins being released into your body). Instead, what I mean is just do something physical, something that moves your body. Basically, get up and do something, anything.
My mom said to me that she was going to do something physical and I was surprised, thinking she was going to exercise. What she actually meant was to clean the kitchen!
Some ways to get physical when your energy is low:
- Clean (it’s gentle, productive, and therapeutic)
- Put your favourite playlist on and let your body start dancing
- Yoga (just stretch, follow a video, move your body gently and relieve tension)
- Walk (you’re allowed out once a day for exercise in the UK, so walk if you don’t want to jog or anything else; walk the dog!)
- Cook a fresh meal
Something to relax
What makes you feel happier and calmer? This is the time to have a list at the ready and give yourself permission to do those things. Have compassion and kindness for yourself; this is a hard time, after all.
- Mindful colouring
- Pamper session
- Watch something gentle
Something you love
You can, of course, do something that you enjoy! Again, give yourself permission to do something that you love and that makes you feel good. This is the time to do it more than ever!
Something gentle but productive
This is something that feels good and purposeful but doesn’t demand too much from you. It’s something you want to do or know you should do, but doesn’t make you sad, overwhelmed, or exhausted from doing it.
Just be with yourself
Away from distractions and social media. Turn off your phones. Be aware and mindful of what you are putting into your mind and body during this time. Stop watching the news.
As Elizabeth Gilbert says in a podcast about overwhelm during this time, “if you’re watching the news, you’re bringing the crisis into your home. Don’t.“
She also encourages us to embrace the discomfort of being alone. To not see it as quarantine, but instead a period of self-isolation that we want and need.
Please listen to the podcast, because it really helped me feel calmer.
Just be with others
If you have others in your home with you, don’t further isolate yourself from them. Try to avoid unnecessary fights and try to embrace this time you have together. Just watch a film together, chat, play games.
If you’re alone at home, you can do this virtually, thank god, with our modern age. Friday we did a virtual quiz night with my brother and his wife.
Watch something inspiring, funny and wholesome
This is not the time to watch horrors or disaster films or anything anxiety and fear-inducing. Instead, watch something that makes you feel good inside! Whether it’s an old fav or something on your list, give yourself permission to watch TV but make it something inspiring and heart-warming.
- Parks and Recreation
- Brooklyn 99
- Gilmore Girls
- Bob’s Burgers
Capture your thoughts and feelings
I think journaling is very important right now. Don’t think I mean a diary, I don’t. Just document your thoughts and feelings. It’s a perfect way to declutter your mind and bring your problems and feelings into reality for you to tackle.
Speak about your thoughts and feelings
And also, share these fears with trusted people. We’re all feeling low and afraid right now, so you won’t be alone in what you share.
Sharing is cathartic.
Again, you’re allowed out for exercise once a day in the UK: use it! Go for a walk, a jog, or to sit under a tree far away from others. But get out in nature for some much-needed sunlight and fresh air. It goes a long way towards sanity, trust me. If not for my dog walks each day, I’m sure I’d feel much worse.
Here are some last little things that go a long way to feeling better within:
- Make your bed every day
- Get up, washed, dressed every day
- Eat well, don’t binge eat junk food
- Turn off the news, updates, and social media for a while
- Keep your environment clean
- Try to have a routine
- Take breaks
- Laugh, dance, create
Take care, all