Self Care Sanctity by Voya

Your Guide To Nurturing Wellbeing During Lockdown.

Currently, there is a plethora of advice online on how to overcome financial difficulty and claim the support you might be entitled to from the government. There have also been a huge amount of fitness videos and courses being released, encouraging you to ‘be your best self’ during lockdown.

As helpful as some of this material might be - what about our wellbeing?

We are facing some of the most stressful times we have ever seen as a global community. Unsurprisingly, personal stress and anxiety levels are likely to be significantly higher. With so much doubt in pace regarding our short and long term futures, many of us are struggling to find balance.

It’s important to remember that these times are entirely unprecedented. We have been ambushed by the arrival of Covid-19, in many different ways. None of us could have been prepared for such a situation, and therefore we are all navigating its impact on our lives on a daily basis.

You don’t need to prove anything to anyone by jumping on the summer body bandwagon.

Right now, it’s more important to be kind to yourself than ever. Here are 5 realistic and effective ways that you can find important moments of self care during lockdown and beyond:

1.  Breathe in the outside space.

We are all spending huge amounts of time indoors at the moment. Whether you’re an outdoors type of person or not, the amount of time inside is likely to be affecting your mood in a negative sense. When you can, try to find ways to breathe in some fresh air. Take an early morning walk while the streets are quiet. Stand at your back door for a few minutes before you head to bed. You could even just open a window enough to feel the breeze on your face - whatever it is that helps you clear your mind and refresh your lungs.

2.  Have a photo sorting afternoon.

We are all heavily relying on television and the internet for entertainment and connection right now. Take a break from the bright lights of the screens, and spend a few hours going through old photos. You could arrange them into albums, frame your favourites, or even just spend time looking through them purely for the joy of it. This is a great way to connect with others at home. Your children might really enjoy seeing your old school photos!

3.  Revitalise old memories with a loved one.

When the present moment becomes too much, take yourself to a different point in time. You can easily do this by simply calling up a dear friend or family member, and having a chat with them about good memories you have shared together. Make it clear from the start that you want to talk about positive memories, to stay away from negative talk of the current situation. They will likely be grateful for the opportunity of a change of narrative.

4.  Create a sanctuary.

No matter what type of home you are quarantining in, there are many easy ways to create a sanctuary for yourself. Try creating a cosy corner (away from screens) with lots of cushions and your favourite materials for you to use as ‘time-out’ space when things get tough. Leave a notebook and a pen in the space for you to use when you need to offload. Alternatively, use your outside space - if you have one - as your sanctuary. Introduce some wildlife friendly plants and feeders and let nature come to you, rather than the other way around!

5.  Write a letter.

Video calling and text messaging are both vital lifelines for many right now. Technology is certainly keeping us connected. But there is nothing like receiving a real letter in the post, with a proper envelope and paper. Not only is it a lovely keepsake, it’s also a clear demonstration of care for another person. Spend time writing some letters to reconnect with loved ones in new ways. You could even write one to yourself, reminding yourself of your value and how important you really are. Be the friend to yourself that you are to others.

Healthcare goes far beyond disinfection and social distancing. It extends all the way through to self care and nurturing our overall wellbeing. Right now, it’s just as important to take care of your mental health as it is your physical self. Don’t forget this, amongst all of the noise coming from headlines and social media right now.

If you have lost a loved one, or are in a position of concern about someone who is battling the virus, then please know you aren’t in this alone. The incredible sense of community that has grown from these circumstances is one of the most powerful elements of the current events. This, above all, should be celebrated on a daily basis. It’s what the modern world has been missing for quite some time.

We are in this together. You are not alone, no matter how you might be feeling. It’s OK to feel your emotions as they surface. Let yourself off the hook of self pressure and allow yourself to have the space you need to take proper care of yourself.

This too, shall pass.

Give the activities in this article a try this coming week. Try one a day, and see how you feel by the end of the week. Take your time and make adjustments as you explore each one. Have fun while doing so and take the rest when you need when it feels right. Listening to your body is a fundamental first step in taking good care of your mind.

You are an important part of this world. Take pleasure in taking care of the planet in all the best ways you know how - including taking better care of yourself. The world needs a healthy, happy you. During lockdown, and far beyond.