I think it’s a whole year now since I first heard the word Covid and wow what a lot has changed in that time. For many people it is the most extreme experience they have ever been through and I know that as we approach the anniversary of the start of the first lockdown we are all reaching our tipping point!
The stresses of lockdown, home-schooling and work pressures during this exceptional time mean that we are all coming to the end of our tether. At times like these it’s so important to be as positive as we can and not to put too much pressure on ourselves. We need to remember that despite our differingcircumstances we are all facing unusual challenges and prioritising our mental and physical health is the most important thing we can do.
I know that I have talked about this before, but it’s so important to try and be as positive as possible and not to feed the negativity. Research has found that positive thinking can aid in stress management and even plays an important role in overall health and well-being, reducing anxiety and boosting the immune system. Being resilient can really help us stay positive and navigate this stressful time. Resilience is something that I believe everyone should have and that being resilient means you are in the best position to deal with life when it gets tough. It’s not about making big life changes, but small tweaks that will soon make a big difference.
To build resilience, you need to focus on your sleep, your exercise and what you eat. Getting enough quality sleep means your body and brain can recover and re-energise so you are ready to face life in the morning.Adding exercise to your daily to-do list will give you natural endorphins that will definitely help keep you going through these difficult times. Finally, making sure that you are following a balanced diet will make sure that your body is working at its optimum level. I know at the end of a stressful day it’s easy to reach for a glass of wine or a takeaway for a quick stress-fix, but this can lead to a bad night’s sleep which won’t help you in the long term.
When these three things are in place you can then focus on finding mechanisms to help cope with the stress that lockdown is causing. I know that lots of people talk about how helpful mindfulness can be and I agree, although I prefer to look at it more as ‘me time’. Taking yourself out of a stressful situation, whether that’s home-schooling or endless zoom calls, for five minutes of alone time can really help refocus. And scheduling in time for a walk on your own or a bath at the end of the day, shouldn’t be seen as a treat but a necessity. It’s not running away it’s regrouping!
Building up your resilience won’t fix the challenges we are facing, but it will definitely make it easier to cope with them. Being resilient is not just helpful during a pandemic but will benefit you throughout your lifetime. Try and remember that this lockdown won’t last forever, focus on the positives and we will get through these dark days together. In fact remember in a month’s time we will have an extra 2 hours of daylight, that’s definitely something to get excited about!
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