Looking back on almost a year ago, I doubt any of us thought we’d be in this position for the third time, and I can’t lie, this isn’t the start to 2021 that a lot of us had hoped for. But yet again, we are in lockdown and have no choice but to stay indoors, a factor which can seriously affect many people’s mental health. So, to hopefully ease our day-to-day lives stuck indoors, we have compiled a list of mindfulness tips and tricks to get you through lockdown (hopefully, our last one).
Although it may seem like we have a lot more time on our hands nowadays, working and staying at home can get very stressful, because once again we are always accompanied by the same four walls. However, it doesn’t have to stay like that, and so a mindfulness tip that not only has scientific evidence backing it but can also be very enjoyable, is yoga. With a range of benefits such as decreasing stress, relieving anxiety, promoting sleep quality and improving quality of life, just 20 minutes of stretching and controlled breathing a day allows you to focus and relax. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, check out this article for all difficulties, to make sure that you start the day off right.
Have a Routine
With each day seeming like the last, it can be easy to stay awake until the early hours and sleep late into the afternoon with Netflix as your only task for the day. And to be honest, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, we all deserve a break from time to time; being stuck in this type of cycle will do us no good once lectures start and assignment are due. So one trick that can help with the stress of our somewhat ‘normal’ lives beginning again is having a routine. Now, it doesn’t mean waking up at the crack of dawn, running five kilometres and eating kale for the rest of the day. Of course not! Having a stable routine can be as simple as waking up at 9 and planning the day ahead – university work, shopping, exercise etc. Not only does this, paired with going to bed at a reasonable time, reduce stress, but it also allows for some structure and organisation in our day-to-day lives. Check out some of these planners to get you started.
Another great trick for mindfulness that can help you get through lockdown is mediation. This is a great way for many students, and of course, people of other ages, to begin to create feelings of calmness and inner peace through stressful times, particularly the one we’re witnessing right now. Mediation is a great way of practising mindfulness, because it: increases self-esteem, allows for greater creativity, improves memory and concentration, and can increase confidence and the feeling of self-worth. Meditating in the morning allows for a much calmer and productive start to the day, so why not give it a go?
Throughout lockdown, it wouldn’t be bold to assume that some of us are under a lot of stress, whether that be money, family or university, and sometimes our thoughts can get all jumbled within our minds. So, I have found that journaling is a great way for us to begin to reorganise those thoughts, allow for some self-reflection and inspire some creativity. And the best thing about it, it’s completely up to you what you put into it! Whether it be doodling, setting goals you want to achieve that week, or recording ideas on the go, it’s super important to jot them down in a diary, because you never know when you might have a boost of inspiration. Check out some amazing wellness journals here.
Go for a Walk
It might sound pretty self-explanatory, but going for a walk is an amazing way of maintaining mindfulness throughout lockdown, especially as we are limited to how much we can actually exercise outdoors. Not only are there beautiful parks and trails to explore, but getting some fresh, crisp air can help to relieve some built-up stress and anxiety. Whether it be with your household or one other person, socially distanced, of course, taking in nature around you and having some company can help you gain some sort of normality back – because let’s be honest, that’s what we all want now!
Find a Project or Passion
With such a limited number of things we can do outside of the house, it’s even more important to find something that you enjoy to do inside the house (especially if you’ve binged Netflix way more times this year than you’d like to admit). Finding a new project or passion is a great mindfulness tip to get you through lockdown because it’s completely up to you! If you’ve always wanting to play the keyboard, paint, learn beauty treatments, try makeup looks, build a computer – the list goes on – but you’ve simply never had time, then lockdown is your opportunity to start. Because not only are you enjoying learning new skills in something you’re passionate about, but it’s a great distraction from the outside world, so get exploring!
Let’s be honest, how many of us have willingly picked up a book, that isn’t university related, to actually enjoy reading it for a while? Because I know that I haven’t! Whether it be for nostalgia’s sake, to read before bed, or even to relieve stress, getting invested in a book is a great mindfulness trick for lockdown. It can literally be anything: drama, horror, action, fashion blogs, romance novels, business insider columns, the list goes on; not only can it lower your heart rate and blood pressure, but it improves brain connectivity and aids in sleep readiness. Check out some New York Times bestsellers here.
Calm and Headspace
Calm and Headspace are great apps that help with mediation and sleep, because not only are they great to use day-to-day, but they can play a crucial part in establishing mindfulness during lockdown. Both are designed to improve your general outlook on life, relieve stress and allow for a better nights sleep, and so just a few minutes each day can contribute to a more positive start or end to your week. They are available on Google Play and Apple App Store.
Mental health isn’t just a simple, quick-fix situation – it requires time, patience and a lot of dedication, most of which we can often take for granted in our lives. However, with these few mindfulness tips and tricks, these can be the first steps forward to a much happier life in lock