Life at the moment can feel a little bit chaotic. Things feel out of our control, and this can make us feel worried, down, or stressed. These feelings might have been problems for us long before Covid-era, they might have become amplified since then, or they might be new developments. Regardless of the situations we might be finding ourselves in over the next few months, here are some tips that have helped me when things have been hard, and hopefully they’ll be able to help you. Some of these might seem cliché, some of these you might have heard before; either way, a reminder of these important sentiments won’t hurt.
Disclaimer: ‘self-care’ can only go so far, and if what you’re feeling is more than just a low mood or worry, you might need to seek out professional help, or at least some form of help beyond this list. Otherwise, though, these are just some small ideas of how you can try to lift yourself up.
The first tip, in line with this issue’s theme, is movement! Even if you have no ‘real’ plans in the day, it’s helpful to make sure you move around. I’m not always the best at doing this myself – especially during lockdown, it’s so easy to spend most of the day in bed – but it’s important to try and incorporate some kind of movement into your day. Even going on a ten minute walk can make me feel much better and less sluggish than if I’d just stayed in bed scrolling through TikTok.
Secondly, a reminder that has been repeated throughout the lockdown period constantly, but I’m going to say it one more time: reach out to people! Especially at a time like this when we’re all feeling more isolated than usual, it’s a good idea to reach out to your friends and make plans (irl or virtual…), or just check in with them. This will make you feel good, and it’ll make them feel good, so it’s a win-win!
Next up is a classic self-care action that I tend to resort to when I’m feeling overwhelmed: social media detoxes. This doesn’t have to be a complete drought, but spending less time scrolling and more time doing other activities might help your frame of mind. Mindless scrolling, whilst admittedly a good distraction, only works for so long. Sometimes it feels good just to put the phone down and do something else for a while.
The fourth tip is to try writing things down/journaling. If you’re feeling worried or stressed, it can be really helpful to physically write down all of the things buzzing around in your head. Doing this, like talking to someone about them, can feel like a good release of pressure.
Finally, it’s important to try not to put too much pressure on yourself – easier said than done, of course. Lots of people struggle as a result of lots of different things. This doesn’t mean that your struggles are any less valid. You might have difficult days, but it’s important not to add onto your pile of difficulties by being hard on yourself for struggling – this is a vicious circle! A good piece of advice relating to this is: if you wouldn’t say it to your friend, you shouldn’t say it to yourself.
These are just some small habits that might be worth working into your routine. It can be difficult to help yourself if you’re struggling, which is why I want to reiterate that it’s okay to look further than yourself for help. In the meantime, hopefully this list has reminded you of some ways that you can be a little kinder to yourself in future.