Lockdown; “A security measure taken during an emergency to prevent people from leaving or entering a building“, thanks dictionary.com. It doesn’t sound pleasant by definition and most certainly is not pleasant in reality. Self-care (and the importance of it) has become more prominent over the last few years, and it’s needed now more than ever. Whether working from home or not, it’s important to find the best ways to relax that suit us best.
We’ve spent a lot of time not being able to escape our four walls. It’s understandably going to take a toll on our mental health. It’s not like booking a week off of work where you’re able to visit family and friends and actually do things and go places. This is not an easy time, so I think it’s important we’re still taking time out to just allow ourselves to truly relax. If you’re stuck on ways to wind down after a long day of doing lots or doing nothing, then I hope this post offers some helpful ideas! Thank you to a lovely bunch of bloggers that also contributed to this post, sharing the ways they enjoy relaxing during lockdown.
Only watch as much news as you can take
It’s important to stay updated, but it can be really unsettling when you’re being inundated by the TV and radio only mentioning the C word. Keep posted, but allow yourself to keep hold of some positivity. The news can be SO overwhelming sometimes, especially when it’s lacking any positive stories.
Reading is famous for allowing escapism, potentially into a world that feels much better than the real one. I spent the bank holiday weekend reading a book and it was the first time in a long time where I’ve not felt guilty for just taking time to sit, and read. There’s always places to go and people to see – but when that’s all stripped away temporarily, we can really indulge.
Utilise your 1 hour of the day
Whilst we still have the privilege of going outside each day, it’s worth grabbing it with both hands and running; literally or metaphorically, it’s up to you! I think we’re lucky in the sense that lockdown isn’t during winter, so our days are longer and warmer. Whilst respecting social distancing and other guidelines, a walk, run or bike ride could make such a difference to your day. There’s even scientific evidence that listening to the birds can help us relax.
“Scientists at the University of Surrey have been studying the “restorative benefits of birdsong”, testing whether it really does improve our mood. They discovered that, of all the natural sounds, bird songs and calls were those most often cited as helping people recover from stress, and allowing them to restore and refocus their attention.”- The Guardian
Finally do those hobbies you’ve been putting off
You can now do some painting on your lunch break, read your book when you’d usually be commuting, or dust off that puzzle you’ve been meaning to complete, but “just haven’t had the time”. We put off boring chores sometimes, but can have a habit of putting off the things we actually want to do, often due to a lack of time. So whether you’ve got 30 minutes or 3 hours spare, allow yourself to relax and enjoy a hobby of yours, old or new!
Talking about how you feel
Now I wasn’t sure whether to add this one, as I wasn’t sure if it came across as one of those things everyone says to do. We have more time than ever to get into our own heads. I appreciate that not everyone has family, friends or housemates around them currently. Talking doesn’t always have to be face-to-face. It could be physically writing it down which can be therapeutic in itself. You could record yourself letting it all out then deleting it, as a way of letting it go. These chats don’t have to be about anything in particular and don’t have to be based around negative thoughts and emotions. Having happy conversations is a great way to smile and laugh.
So what do other bloggers do to relax?
“A lot of colouring (swear word colouring book is my fav) and wine” – Emily from snippetsofem.com
“Mentally by following self care routines” – Casey from casestreetx.com
“I’ve started home workouts and running which have both helped my mental health and physical fitness 🙂 makes me feel productive!” – Emma from lifeofemmax.co.uk
“Physically I have been doing simple little activities that keep me busy like housework, home work outs, sitting out in the garden with a refreshing drink and then I’ve also been indulging in self care, trying different cleansers, exfoliators, doing spot treatments & face masks. I’ve also been topping up my tan every so often to feel good about myself.
Then mentally I have been having time away from social media especially on evenings, watching my favourite shows and finding new movies to watch, I’m also finding that reading really helps me to relax and something that has mentally helped me more than anything is meditation and yoga, this keeps your mind and body focusing on the positives and really helps if you’re feeling down!” – Laura from samanthiablogs.co.uk
“At first I started playing Sims again to relax, but now that effect has worn off a bit. I think I feel at my most chilled out when I’m video calling my friends” – Charlotte from takeapawsblog.com
“My favourite way of relaxing has been doing a jigsaw in the evenings. Sitting down with a glass of wine, some music playing softly and doing a puzzle is very calming” – from mumonabudget.co.uk
“I’ve been setting up a winding down routine after I wash off my makeup and brush my teeth etc. I tend to have a candle lit, my pyjamas on and I’ll either read a chapter of my book or do some light yoga or meditation. It really emphasises the transition between the working day and time to relax.” – Paris from thegirlinflat26
“Meditation and reading” from Bookish Fame
I really love all of these ways to relax, so a huge thank you to everyone that shared their personal ways of relaxing! I’m definitely going to be taking a couple on board as a way to unwind after the working day is done. Indulging in yourself is never selfish, just like a plant needs watering and nurturing in order to continue to grow and thrive every day. When lockdown ends, we can enjoy relaxing in other ways i.e. with a bit of retail therapy, a coffee date, a trip to the gym etc. We all cope and relax in many different ways but I do hope the above has helped somewhat.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first”
Until next time,