I often have readers reach out to me with feelings of despair and are looking for a glimmer of hope.
In a four-part blog series, I have decided to highlight some key tips on how to manage lockdown anxiety.
The unpecidented times we are living in due the Covid-19 pandemic, has lead to the majority of the human race ( myself included), feeling an increased sense of anxiety.
Not being able to engage in fun activities with family and friends frequently, sudden job losses, financial difficulties, losing loved ones, the fear of becoming seriously ill, living with restrictions for days ( amongst other concerns) has consumed our daily lives.
While it’s okay not to be okay sometimes, it’s very important to manage feelings of anxiety.
Take time out from social media
Yes, social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are key sources of information during the Covid-19 pandemic.However, being bombarded with escalating Covid-19 statistics all day can be very overwhelming. Do limit the amount of time spent on social media. Know when to switch off. Don’t be fooled by filtered images of people living their best lives on social media. Remember, people only post what they want you to see, not what’s really going on behind the scenes.Web searching the latest covid news can be just as upsetting to the mind. Just don’t do it. Also, limit the amount of time spent watching news updates on TV. Instead, focus on something that enhances pleasure such as watching a feel-good movie or use the time to do some exercise.
Social distancing does not mean you have to completely distance yourself from family and friends. Check in on how they are doing on a regular basis. When asked how you are doing, forget the generic ‘I’m fine’, tell them how you really feel. Chanes are they are also dealing with lockdown blues in one way or another. Why not schedule a video call? Or have a virual cook-off, or even better have a virtual quiz night.
Manatain a routine
A good way to set the tone for the week ahead is to draw up a to-do list of everything you wish to accomplish for the week, the next month or even for the next 6 months. Tick off the tasks once completed. Keep adding more goals to your list. As a starting point, your goals could be a mixture of small to medium goals. It could be something as simple as laying out chores you would like to complete around the house like doing the laundry or decluttering your cupboard.
Take care of yourself
Listen to your body. Make sure you get enough sleep ( 8 hours per day), drink lots of water and maintain a balanced diet. Focus on what you enjoy doing ( and used to enjoy doing before lockdown, whether it’s going for a hike, reading a book, or going on vacation and visiting a place you’ve been dying to see, live in the moment and make it count. Also, don’t be scared to have some me-time every now and then.
Get some fresh air
Get out of the house! ( quite literally). Going for walks and jogging regularly can be quite clensing to the mind. Who would have ever thought that going for walks would be the main event of the weekend? The added bonus is that exercises releases feel good endorphins.
Help someone in need
Even if you are not by the means to help someone financially, just being there for someone when they need someone to talk to helps alot. If you are by the means to help someone, why not sponsor a local NGO or why not feed a homeless person. Remember, every penny helps.
Be proactive when job hunting
While the unemployment rate in South Africa looks rather grim, their are 100’s of companies looking for skilled workers.The harsh reality is that it might be time to step out of your comfort zone and start applying for jobs that are not even related to what you studied or even related to your previous job to increase the chances of finding work.