I’ve got to the point where I think lockdown feels relatively normal now! After the recent ease in restrictions there’s been more discussion for us about how returning to the office might look and as much as I’m looking forward to it, it kind of fills me with a touch of anxiety as I think navigating the outside world in the new “normal” is going to be difficult for a number of reasons.
Someone asked me recently how I’ve managed to remain positive throughout this crazy period. And truth be told, I haven’t always been able to. I, like everybody else, have difficult days where I feel like shit. But my inherent Lynsey trait is I won’t allow myself to “burden” people as I see it. Even though I never feel burdened listening to others! As is my life, there’s always a lot going on. Most of which I only share with those I’m extremely close to. That’s my way and it works for me for right now. Somebody called me an iceberg recently too and it’s perfectly accurate. A lot happens under the surface. But provided you aren’t bottling it up, take circumstances at your own pace and comfort level.
That being said, I haven’t buried my head in the sand when I’ve had the difficult days during lockdown or when I have a wave of panic and fear for one reason or another. I’ve just found that practising some self care methods have helped me switch back into a positive space and refocus my mindset. So what’s worked for me recently?
I used to not see the point in this, but y’know what? I’ll eat my words now. This one has been the biggest source of changing my mindset when I’ve needed it. You can do this however you like. On my bad days, I write down some thoughts or lists in my book. For example, I’ll write a list of places I’m looking forward to visiting. Or if my mood is low but the day before was good, I’ll try to think of the reasons why my mood was better the day before or write a list of things I’m grateful for or happy about. Spending ten minutes doing something like this just totally refocuses my mind and seems to make me feel more positive. It’s also good to spot the trends in what’s bringing your mood down. Once you know, it can be easy to cut the negativity.
This is an age old tip but one that always works for me. I find taking myself off to the bath for a soak or to the shower for a pamper just makes me feel so much better. I’ll exfoliate head to toe, do hair masks, facials, whiten my teeth, the works. And afterwards, I tend to feel so much better. Not to blow my own trumpet but, my skin looks the best it’s looked in months at the minute. My hair is in better condition and my body is soft and smooth. These things make me feel good about myself. So take yourself off with a sheet mask, have a bubble bath, spend some time just luxuriously pampering yourself, I bet you it helps. Ps- bring a gin and some chocolate with you and it will definitely help.
This is another obvious one but working out does release endorphins (the brain’s happy chemical). Forcing myself to be more active is a great lifestyle change that I want to incorporate more. Losing a few inches is a welcome bonus. Take a hike with the dog, do an online exercise class, just get moving if you are able. It really helps.
I’ve always enjoyed cooking, especially trying new dishes from scratch with fresh ingredients. I decided recently that I’d start themed nights at home each Saturday where I pick a county and make some delicious new meals and drinks. It’s a great way to learn some new recipes and to have some quality family time if you’re lucky enough to be with them. I’ve had a great time drinking tequila beer and rustling up a Mexican feast for example. I’ve also learnt that my guacamole is pretty delicious if I do say so myself.
Keep in Touch
This is an important one as being completely isolated can play havoc with your mind. In order to have some kind of normality, the girls and I have been having our own Zoom date nights where we guzzle gin and catch up. It perks me right up. In work, we’ve all been staying in touch and having a virtual quiz on a Friday which is a fun way to end the work week where we’d ordinarily have popped to the pub in normal circumstances. Keeping in touch with friends and family is a high priority to me at the best of times but even more so now. A good chat with a friend can just turn your entire outlook around. And the laughs are always good for the soul.
What do you do to keep yourself occupied throughout all of this? Have you learnt a new skill? Or have you simply learnt to refocus your mindset? Tell me in the comments.
And for anybody struggling. My mailbox is always open for a chat. If you’re simply managing to cope and not much more, that’s ok too. This will all end soon.
Thanks for reading