Another Monday morning, another week staying in to stay safe. Feeling the pressure? Here's some suggestions to help your feel better.
Find the time for a few minutes doing something you really want to do
Things are all at sea for all of us at the moment. No matter what situation you are in, we are all in a very different place than we were just weeks ago. We all think we don’t have time for the silliness or the fun stuff, but ensuring you have a few minutes every day for ourselves is a great place to start
Whatever it is - going for a run, dancing like a kid to a song on the radio, browsing holidays on line, watching something funny on TV - make the time to do it. These few minutes have a disproportionate impact on your mood and energy.
Switch your screen off
In lockdown it can be harder to have boundaries to our day. Its hard to follow which day of the week it is let alone what time of day it is. So it is easy to let screen time seep into all hours. A quick email, a school task, a zoom call with family, watching the news- it all adds up.
Keep your phone on a different room when you are clocked off from work or when school time is over. It's too easy to mindlessly scroll at the best of times but now it’s even more important for our brain health to keep our screen time confined to the hours we set ourselves.
Sleep pattern all over the place?
The routines have changed, rushing to get the train or beat traffic for school drop are not the markers we have now for the start of our day. So it makes sense the end of our day and bed times are also less structured. This might seem easier for now but actually this can affect our natural rhythms and our ability to fall asleep when we go to bed and get up when we need to.
Sleep routines aren’t just for kids. If you find yourself struggling with sleep and getting up, try being stricter with your routine. Set a bed time and wake up and stick to it - set an alarm both evening and morning to make it easier. You will soon find that you are sleeping better and hopefully feeling better as a result
Write it down to let it go
The tense exchange with a work colleague, frustrations with family members, that thing you said to someone but didn’t mean it to sound the way it was interpreted. We can easily let these things go round and round in our minds and this can lead into a vortex of stress and annoyance. These feelings affect our mood, our sleep and ability to switch off.
If you can write it down this can help your mind clear itself of the thought or the conversation. You can write what you said or hows the exchange has made you feel. Then thats’ it, switch off from the worry, go and do something else - prepare dinner, play with your kids or read a book. Working things around and around in our minds is a key trigger for stressful feelings and thoughts than can have an impact on our brain health, our physical health and our general well being ,
Dr Clara Russell