You are Enough: Lockdown Self-Care Tips for Mental Wellbeing

Let’s think back for a moment…what was your new year’s resolution for 2021?

 

If this was a question you had a particularly hard time answering at the start of the year, you’re not alone.

 

The truth is, 2020 knocked the wind out of a lot of us…if you’re reading this blog right now, maybe you can relate to this. The fact of the matter is that there is no shame in feeling utterly exhausted by life at the moment. To just be taking things one day at a time and functioning with very little energy is completely understandable, especially when you’ve spent almost a whole year living in a global pandemic!

 

Yet, there seems to always be pressure from somewhere to perform. After finally reaching the end of a disastrous 2020, the last thing anyone needed was to place unnecessary strain on themselves trying to uphold what is, ultimately, a completely inconsequential tradition. The simple fact is: you are enough. You were at the very start of the year, and you are still – whether you kept to a resolution or not.

 

If you’re looking for ways to spend your time during lockdown without the pressure to be more productive than necessary, our gentle, digestable self-care guide might be what you’re looking for. Take five minutes, make yourself a cuppa, and check out these tips for some low-energy practices to help keep your spirits up.

 

black and white letter board saying "self care isn't selfish" on a pink background with a leaf next to it

 

  1. Food & Drink

Nope, we’re not going to direct you to another banana bread or dalgona coffee recipe! In all seriousness, this tip is primarily a simple one – make sure to stay hydrated. Sounds obvious, right? However, especially during a time where our bodies are getting much less general exercise than they’re used to, sometimes your body can make it known that it needs a bit of extra support. Feeling run down? Headaches from the extra screen-time from working remotely? Making sure you’re drinking a sufficient amount of water every day is a sure way of giving your body the hydration it needs to keep you functioning whilst our days are less marked out by obvious breaks. Keep that glass near you at all times.

 

Treat yourself to a nice breakfast. If your energy levels are low, one thing definitely worth your effort is a nice, wholesome meal to look forward to each morning. Get creative – Pinterest and Instagram are both excellent places to find beautiful and nutritious acai bowls, overnight oats and brunch inspiration that will make you feel like you’re out in your favourite café again. Small investments of energy and effort are worth making if they’re going to help you feel a bit more excited about the day ahead, and let’s face it, breakfast food makes everyone feel better.

 

woman sat cross legged on bed holding a glass of water

 

  1. Space & Time

Not the Doctor Who kind. Whilst it’s impossible for us to distract ourselves by getting out and about (beyond that optional daily walk), one thing we do have control over is our own home environment and daily routine. We must start by saying, just because some people you follow on social media are up every day at 5am doing yoga or YouTube fitness tutorials, doesn’t mean that’s what you should be doing to feel like you’ve achieved something with your day. There’s nothing wrong with simply hunkering down and waiting for these strange times to finally pass, in the same way there’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend your spare time taking up a new hobby or exercise regime. Whilst some may be empowered by a strong sense of routine and schedule, others will prefer to go with the flow and take a more relaxed approach.

 

If this is you, try starting each day by opening your curtains and a window. Fresh air is essential; even if you’re not planning on doing anything but spending the day in bed, just having some cool air circulating is a refreshing and easy alternative to leaving the house each day. Spend a few mindful minutes (or however long you would like) just listening to the noises outside. Really paying attention to your surroundings – birdsong, traffic rain…anything you can hear outside your room – is such a helpful way of staying grounded and calm when things can feel chaotic in your own mind.

Similarly, don’t put pressure on yourself to keep to a strict routine if it’s not necessary. That is to say, if you need a lie-in a few extra days a week at the moment to keep your mental health ticking over, don’t feel guilty about it. Everyone is just trying to do their best, and if a change in your sleep schedule reflects this enormous change in your circumstances, that’s okay.

 

boy wearing glasses reading a book with grass in the background

 

  1. Self-Care & Mood

There’s no better way to lift your spirits than a good playlist. Cheesy 80s tunes, lo-fi beats, indie hits…whatever takes your fancy, as long as it’s guaranteed to put you in a good mood, pop it on every morning whilst you’re making your coffee and have a bit of a shameless dance in your pyjamas. We won’t judge.

 

Finished bingeing all the wholesome series you can find on Netflix but need something to emotionally invest in? There are plenty of book exchange groups on Instagram, where you can swap addresses with someone else in the world and send them your favourite book, whilst receiving fresh new reading material through the post from another participant. This is also a great way of connecting with other like-minded people. However, if you’re uncomfortable with sending someone your address, have you tried checking out some #bookstagram accounts? This tag is certain to help you build your to-be-read pile quicker than you can take your morning shower, tried and tested.

 

 

We really hope you enjoyed these small ways to take care of your mental health and keep positive through such unpredictable times. Remember, you are achieving something every day just by working through these exceptional circumstances. Look after yourself above all else, and always acknowledge your strength. You are worth taking care of.