getting out the lockdown slump


Lockdown has affected everyone differently, more mentally than anything. I have been very lucky to have worked through all lockdowns, a benefit from working in retail, however my social anxiety has gone through the roof. I find that when I am in work uniform, mentally I am ready to work and have confidence only to go to work and go home again but anything outside of work is a big no for me. Luckily for me I am on anti-depressants otherwise I definitely wouldn't of gotten through lockdown.

We are all in the same boat with how we are all feeling. Some people have come out more depressed, or where they never suffered with anxiety and now do, and that is perfectly fine. It really has had a big effect on all of us. That's just not on mental health but getting back into routine and back into old habits. I read somewhere about a couple spending a year working from home together, and the boyfriend now suffers with separation anxiety. We have all suffered one way or another.

In this post I am sharing with you tips on mental health and getting out the lockdown slump.



MENTAL HEALTH

- What is mental health?
Mental health isn't just depression and anxiety.
It is also:
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personalty disorder
  • Psychotic disorder
  • Eating disorder
  • Substance abuse disorder
And many more.

- It's okay not to be okay.
I say this to everyone because it's true. We can't control how our minds work, how we are feeling. We are only human and the truth is, nobody is perfect. I mean...what is perfect? Everyone has their own definition of what perfect means. So yes, it really is okay not to be okay.

- Acceptance.
You need to accept that you're not okay. Accept that you need to talk to someone, get help and acknowledge that you're not the only one and that you're not on your own. The hardest part is accepting that you do need help, and getting that help. Especially if it's all new for you.

- Who to talk to?
Anyone really. Well, someone who you can trust. Don't be offended if your friend or a family member doesn't understand what you're going through, it most likely means they don't know how you're feeling by never experiencing what you are going though, or they are just stubborn.

Find someone you can trust, a true friend will stick by your side no matter what.
You can also:
  • Speak to your GP
  • Visit the Mind website for phone numbers you can call or text
  • Search for online therapy in your area
  • Apply for face to face counselling in your area
There are many options, your GP may also suggest some help for you. Try and keep an open mind.



GETTING OUT THE LOCKDOWN SLUMP

- Routine
You have just spent a over year out of routine, it's going to be hard to get back into it. Whether that's work, exercise, or just waking up early. Everybody has their routine. The best way to get back into your routine is baby steps. Unfortunately nothing happens overnight. It all takes time.

For example, if it's exercise you would need to ease your way back into it. Maybe start off with 10 minutes for one week, then the next week extend that to 20 minutes. When it comes to motivation, put on some music that gets you going or in a good mood, put on your workout gear or lay it out on your bed beforehand,  write down your goals, what you dislike and things you'd like to change. Maybe write down a exercise plan, what days suit you and what type of exercise you'd like to do, so leg day on a Monday, weights on Wednesday etc.

If it's a work routine, lay out everything you need the night before. Make your lunch beforehand, the clothes you're going to wear, everything you need. Not only does that get you all organized but it means you can have an extra 10 minutes in bed.

- Getting out the house
The thought of putting on real clothes and getting out of those pajamas you've been wearing all year may not sound so comfy, but also the thought of leaving the house if you have anxiety can be difficult too. My tip would be to keep it local, and even if it is for 5/10 minutes it's still getting out the house. Call a friend to meet up outside or call someone on the phone for some company.

- Goals
What are your goals? Lets be real, none of us could achieve anything we had planned this last past year, and your goals may or may not be achievable for this year, so make some goals to achieve within a couple of years. That could be weight loss, passing your driving, looking for a new job etc. Write it down, build yourself some encouragement and excitement.

- Take a 'you' day
Sometimes a day where you focus on yourself is needed, that could be a pamper, reading a book, finishing a Netflix show. Just taking a step back from the real world and doing what makes you happy matters. It helps you mentally and physically, basically a recharge for your body and your brain.

- Look forward to something
Call a friend to meet up in a garden, have a couple of glasses of wine. Go for a walk when the weathers nice, bake your favourite cake, go shopping. Do something you enjoy doing, it'll get you excited and lift your mood completely.

- Take a break from social media
Everyone's seems to live a 'perfect' life on social media, when reality is that's not always true. And there's so much negativity online too, you don't need to feed yourself with that all the time. Take a few hours away from it all, or a day. A week if you'd like, whatever is best for you personally.

I hope this has helped in any way. If you have some tips of your own, comment them down below.