As we approached the end of 2020 and the vaccine roll out began it was hoped that 2021 would be the start of a new more positive chapter. But instead having been plunged back into a third lockdown it definitely feels harder to find the positives, especially today on blue Monday, which is said to be the gloomiest day of the year, even when there isn’t a pandemic happening! It’s really important even in the depths of lockdown that we try and see the light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine rollout is really gathering pace and by the summer we will definitely be in a better position than now.
So how do we keep our morale up? For me it’s about filling my days and trying to be productive. Adding structure and routine definitely helps. However the pandemic and subsequent guidelines definitely give way to repetition and lack of stimulation, therefore I try and shake things up where I can, even if they are small things. For example, trying new recipe, changing my routine around and going for an evening walk instead of a morning one or starting a new TV series as a family. Of course it’s also really important to look after ourselves at a time like this. Making sure I am getting good quality sleep and daily exercise always makes a big difference to my mental health. On the days when I really struggle with energy and motivation I take myself off for a brisk dog walk and then prepare some comfort food and try and just chill out. We must listen to our bodies, especially when even the day to day stuff feels a bit of a struggle.
I am also trying to check in with friends daily via phone or text. As inherently social creatures, our personal wellbeing is ultimately connected to the quality of our personal relationships. Whilst we are unable to meet our friends and extended family in person a call or text is the next best thing and can really lift our mood.
I appreciate the biggest struggle for many of us is home schooling our kids. We must keep reminding ourselves that we are not teachers and that they are not in school, this is a completely unique situation. With so many of us juggling multiple classroom scenarios alongside our own jobs there is a limit to what we are able to achieve. I have to say I have been so impressed with the resilience of my own children. My youngest has had his GCSE’s cancelled, one has had his apprenticeship put on hold and the third recently set up a PT business and of course that has ground to a halt. But they are all coping so well and taking it in their stride. I am trying to take a leaf out of their book and try not to let all these hurdles get me down.
Although it may be Blue Monday today it’s also National Winnie The Pooh Day! And therefore I want to share with you some of Christopher Robin’s words of wisdom, in case you are feeling down. “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
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