Just a bit of a ramble post about self-care during lock down from me today. I work in children’s mental health, and have been working from home during lock down. This means the place I usually go to to relax has also become my work zone which can sometimes make it difficult to differentiate between work time and chill time!
I have been focusing on promoting wellbeing and self care at work. However, I realised I was not always taking my own advice! It is really important to take time to reflect on your wellbeing and put strategies in place to support you. So here are a things that I have found useful during the lock down and social distancing:
- Reading a book – I know this is probably a given but reading has been a huge escape for me, especially since I have begun interacting more with the book lovers community again. I have started writing my blog, joining engagement groups, and adding my names to publishers review lists. All of these have given me something to focus my time on as well as introducing me to some amazing people in the community!
- Keeping in touch with friends – If it wasn’t for my amazing friends I would have really struggled during this time. Although I am a major introvert and love being alone, I didn’t realise how much I relied on the interactions I have with my friends to help me stay mentally healthy. They help me talk through problems, regulate emotions and bring general joy to my life. So take the time to check in with the people you care about. Perhaps have a weekly video chat set up. I also spend time chatting with the book community who have also been really supportive and positive during this time!
- New hobbies – I know this isn’t for everyone but I have started completing jigsaws occasionally in order to keep my brain busy and I have found it very therapeutic, especially when I have had a particularly difficult day in work. I also bought a pair of rollerblades. I was awful but it was a lot of fun!
- Getting out – I’m making sure I take advantage of my one exercise per day. It’s only walking the dog but I use this as a way to split up my day. I will go for a walk after my work day finishes as a way to leave my room and come back in a different mind frame. I found this especially helpful after I had a few nights of not being able to sleep as my brain was still in work mode.
- Doing nothing – Don’t be afraid to do nothing! If you are having a particularly low day it is ok to curl up in a blanket and watch cheesy films. I often find myself like this on a weekend after a full week of working. It can be very recharging.
- My dog! – She cheers me up no matter what and is always a source of entertainment. Plus she gets me out for walks everyday.
Do you have any strategies that have particularly helped you during lock down? I would love to hear your ideas!!