Two words we hoped we'd never see: 'Lockdown 4.0'. We thought we were out of the woods, but turns out history has repeated itself and we've found ourselves re-living the horrors of winter 2020.
It's stressful, it's disappointing, and its down right terrifying.
But we're not here to discuss politics, we're here to discuss you and your mental wellbeing. Lockdown affects us all in different ways: for some, it brings a whole host of financial uncertainty; it can cause severe loneliness and feelings of isolation or could mean you've had forgo an event or a trip you were looking forward to.
However you've been affected, one thing is for certain and that's that we can't be certain of anything anymore. Hopes and dreams are put on hold, our excitement for the future has been traded for uncertainty and with this, comes a whole host of mental health issues.
Let me start by saying that the hopelessness and helplessness you're feeling is totally normal and valid. You're not 'weak' and if you're not spending lockdown building a business or baking banana bread like it's going out of fashion, THAT'S OKAY.
1) Routine, routine, routune
The first step on getting through this is being kind on yourself, taking the pressure off 'doing things' and focusing on maintaining your health and happiness.
When our daily routines are interrupted this significantly, we can quickly lapse into a place where basic self-care goes out the window. Making a list of 'negotiable tasks' to do every day helps keep yourself accountable, whilst also giving yourself a serotonin boost and sense of achievement when you can tick them off. Things like:
-Brush your teeth.
-Washing your face.
-Get changed out of the clothes you slept in, even if its just into fresher loungewear.
Maintaining a basic morning routine can put you in a much more positive mindset for the day ahead.
2) Keep connected
There will be days where the last thing you want to do is talk to anyone, and that's okay. But sometimes we can end up fuelling our loneliness with more loneliness and it becomes a vicious cycle.
Whenever you can, try to chat to someone, whether that's your local barista, texting a friend or Facetiming your Mum. Not only will it improve your mental health, but it'll cheer them up to know you're thinking of them.
If talking to someone seems too hard right now, put the radio or TV on in the background for some talkative background noise. Remember, if you're really struggling and find it easier to talk to a stranger, companies like Beyond Blue have a free phone line and online chat service where you can get the help you need.
3) Move your body
Again, this can seem like an impossible task when you're in a funk, but it really does make the world of difference: you know the spiel, endorphins, blah blah blah, but it's the truth. It doesn't have to be anything crazy: get our for a walk down to your nearest cafe; give your house a good energetic clean, or even try a youtube yoga video in your front room.
4) Don't pressure yourself to 'get things done'
People love glamorising lockdown, telling us how much more free time we have to do the things we love. The truth is, when you're reeling low, the desire and passion do those things you love is the first to go. If you're suddenly finding yourself uninterested in your passion or hobby, that's totally okay.
Entertain yourself in ways that require less motivation: binge a Netflix series in a day, re-read your favourite book or eat the contents of your pantry: whatever you do, make sure you do it GUILT FREE.
If you do feel inclined to pick up your paint brushes or plant those vegetable seeds then fantastic, if not, don't stress yourself honey.
It sounds like a gimmick, it sounds very LA, but boy does it work!! Talk to yourself out loud in the mirror or write them on post-its to stick around your home.
'This too shall pass'
'Everything is temporary'
'You are stronger than you think'
'You're not alone' ...
...are all things that come to mind. But personalise them to your situation and what you're experiencing.
Whatever you're feeling, remember these things:
-Your feelings are totally valid.
-You're absolutely not the only person feeling these things, not even close.
-You're never alone.
Remember, helplines like Beyond Blue are available to you, never suffer in silence.
If you feel comfortable to do so, you're always welcome to reach out to the Hunter Markets team via firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram at @huntermarkets
Words by @ellenwalker1