As we approach the end of the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown measures, support your wellbeing with these self care ideas.
We don’t need to be told that it has been over a year since the pandemic changed all our lives. As we approach the end of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown measures, many people are finding this final hurdle the most difficult. Have we lost our social skills? Will people ever shake hands again? Will we feel ever comfortable in a crowd again?
Are you exhausted and overwhelmed every day, struggling to be motivated or experience enthusiasm about anything? Do you find it hard to get in touch with friends and family because you feel you have nothing to say? You are not alone.
These months of anxiety, stress, and big changes to our lives and to our routines have had a big impact on our mental health. As we emerge into a new normality we need to be kind to ourselves. Here are some scientifically proven tips, that can help you navigate the gradual steps back to normality and improve your mood and wellbeing.
We need to allow moments that “spark joy” as Marie Kondo would say. This doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate. For instance, it can just be rushing outside when the sun is shining and having a mindful cuppa without looking at your phone. Do more of what you love. If you love reading read a chapter of a book instead of just scrolling. Listen to a short podcast. Have a game of snap or scrabble with the children. Give yourself a healthy treat.
Start Some Healthy Self Care Habits
Make new routines for your wellbeing – if you think you don’t have time for it, you will soon have to make time for being ill. Little bits of time every day go a long way to make you feel a lot better.
1. Avoid Stimulation Before Bedtime
- Create a ritual at night to help get you into a relaxed state: what can you do to wind down for the last hour?
- Avoid screens for at least 2 hours prior to going to bed (the blue light emitted from screens can disturb your sleep patterns)
2. Enjoy a Hot and Cold Shower or a Bath
- A bath or shower before bed is a great way to relax your body. Try to rinse with alternating hot and cold water, which is especially beneficial.
- This is a pump for your lymphatic system and expands and contracts your blood vessels which brings your awareness, consciousness and all your energy into your body and out of your mind.
3. Stretch Your Body
Perform a mild stretch before bed. Try getting into child’s pose: Kneel on the floor with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart. Rest your palms on top of your thighs. On an exhale, lower your torso between your knees. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down. Relax your shoulders toward the surface you’re kneeling on. Stay in this pose for about 20 seconds to a minute and just focus on your breathing.
4. Listen to Sam’s “Help with insomnia” mp3
“Help with Insomnia” uses progressive relaxation and powerful hypnotic suggestions to focus the mind on the body instead of that spiral of thoughts.
- A bedtime routine of listening to the MP3 can be started and our mind soon recognises and enjoys this and then falling asleep is expected.
- The recording can also be used on waking in the middle of the night to aid the quick return to peaceful sleep.
Lie down on your bed and listen to this evening visualisation because it’s specifically designed to put you into the state of deep sleep. You don’t have to listen to what it’s saying, you can tune out and let your subconscious listen.
Do a kind thing
Doing something nice for someone else can help reduce anxiety and make you feel happier. Of course it’s also simply the right thing to do. A small compliment can make someone’s day, start a new friendship, or just make the world a better, kinder place.
It’s easy to underestimate the impact kind words or the effect kind actions can have on people and yourself. Some ideas here are random acts of kindness, volunteering (you can do this online, if you are shielding) or checking in on your neighbours.
Find a style that suits you and do at least 10 minutes a day. You could try mindfulness as it brings you into the present without any wish to change anything (ideal at the moment). An easy way to start is to download Sam’s 3-minute breathing space.
Find something you love doing or you won’t keep it up! You might enjoy running, dancing, walking the dog or just walking around town. Maybe yoga is your cup of tea?
Talk to friends, colleagues, family or get help from a professional. Do NOT keep your feelings bottled up, we all need to release them, and the best way is to talk to someone you trust.
How the Live Well Practice can help
If you need any help with overcoming a particular issue such as anxiety, stress, or have any mental health concerns, please get in touch with Samantha Culshaw-Robinson. She is a clinical hypnotherapist and Reiki practitioner. She can also help to get your life back into balance through mindfulness and meditation. You can reach her via email email@example.com or call 075 222 777 22. www.livewellpractice.co.uk