I can’t calculate what day of lockdown we’re on, and I’m not about to google it and risk seeing more news right now (it’s a Friday night and I’m writing this alongside a g&t, so I’m keeping it light and breezy). I really wanted to just write openly and honestly about self care, new routines and life in lockdown. Basically share a few things I’ve muddled through and almost journal how I’ve found this experience.
Before I get into it I really want to stress that I know just how privileged I am. Every day I take note of it and feel grateful to those who are risking their lives and looking after the country. This blog post I’m simply my experience. I also know that for many who seem to be privileged on the exterior, coronavirus is a huge hit on their mental health. Every single person is impacted by this in some way or another, and it’s absolutely ok to feel all the emotions. We need to be kind to one and other, and ourselves during this time.
A lot of my current thoughts, feelings and actions are actually very similar to pre lockdown, only it feels like a fluorescent highlighter has come along and just scribbled over the whole thing. I don’t even feel like I have ‘good days’ and ‘bad days’, I’m quite positive on the whole but then have a wave of emotions comes in and catches me off guard. I’ve seen quite a few people online mention their rollercoaster emotions, and I feel like I’m on that flippin ride with them.
It’s negative moments rather than days, and it’s awareness and acceptance that’s stopping them spread into long term feelings.
I’ve had to do quite a bit of work on my mental health and well-being over the past year or so anyway, and I think the main thing that’s helping me stay positive through this is awareness of what’s coming up and accepting that it’s ok, and taking action on things I can do to feel better.
I’m not boxing up the negative emotions and leaving them to fester like I used to, I’m catching them and trying to notice how they’re making me feel and where they came from. Honestly, it’s all the same feelings that made me feel negative pre lockdown, but I feel like my tolerance has slipped down a notch, so the self-care has had to almost be doubled up too.
I’ve wrote about self care and what that looks like for me before. As I said I’ve had to step this up, but it’s mostly the same principles. I’ve built a new routine to give my day some structure, nothing major, but a specific time to sit down to WFH everyday, my afternoon coffee at 2.30pm, setting my alarm for the same time every morning. These little nuggets of time blocking give me something to plan around and it works to set something up for day. On the weekends it’s slightly different, I’m trying to tune into my mind and just go with the flow. If I want a Netflix day I’ll do it, or if I want to work on my blog I’ll do that.
I’m journalling most days in some form or another, reading more about manifesting and positivity, avoiding anything that could potentially make me sad or anxious, exercising 5 times a week. I’m doing all of these things to keep myself a float, I realised pre lockdown these things are like my armour and help me take on the day in a positive way. I’m less reactive when I prioritise self-care, which now more than ever is so needed.
I’ve found journalling and writing down thoughts and feelings to be so powerful. The patterns were right there in front of me, I had the ability to notice what wasn’t making me feel good and change it. Alongside journalling and planning out my day I’m also writing down 3 positive affirmations and 3 things I’m grateful for every morning and some times in the evening to. It takes up 10 minutes of my day for sure, it takes discipline to dedicate some time to it when I could happily sit and binge on Netflix (they’ve currently got me hooked on Ozark), but worth it.
During this time, prioritise you. I’m trying to not feel guilty for my lack of productivity and just take it slow. Not every day is good, but there’s good in every day!
What are you doing to prioritise your self-care?
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