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mental health

How to survive a lockdown

How to survive lockdown when faced with depression, anxiety and boredom

Anxiety and depression can be crippling for some. Symptoms of anxiety can include racing thoughts, pounding heart, worrying, panic, uncontrollable over-thinking, difficulties concentrating, feelings of dread, fear, and irritability, problems with sleep, appetite, and even panic attacks.

Symptoms of depression can feel very heavy, negative, sluggish and lethargic. And this can bring about intense sadness, negative self image and feelings of hopelessness.

Both anxiety and depression can be frightening and give the feeling of not being in control. To get through another lockdown without overeating or getting bogged down with heavy feelings is a challenge for many.

During this strange time when there is plenty to worry about and new ways of doing things and rules to follow; feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, boredom, loneliness and depression can easily happen to us all. And these feelings are okay to have, we are all human and we can take time to adapt. But one of the amazing qualities of humans is that we can do exactly that; adapt.

But what can be so liberating, is to know that we also have the power to be able to switch our mindset and emotions if we want to, and this can be a huge game changer in how we cope with lockdown, and how we go about our lives as the best version of ourselves.

Our brains are malleable and it is possible to change our reactions and ways of thinking, with a little practice positive thinking can become your new norm!

Gratitude is key.

Having a daily practice of just writing down what we have, no matter how small, and what we are grateful for; can reprogram our minds to a positive one, to fill your cup and begin your day with a mindset of a glass half full rather than empty.

We might be locked in, and have many worries, but we also have so much, no matter how heavy things might feel one day. And knowing that change is always happening can be a comfort when things don’t feel good. Learn to treat negative emotions like dinner guests, allowing them to be there a while, but knowing that they will also leave when it’s time.

When the days are long with no social visits, appointments or planned activities to get up for, it is more important than ever to plan your day (see my blog on how to have a productive day).

Think of planning your day, as making a hearty bowl of stew; adding as many ingredients as is needed to create a healthy, balanced meal but in this case a healthy, balanced life. What ingredients, or elements would you want to add to your day to make it a balanced and fulfilling day? Have a brainstorm and put it all down on paper, making it as colourful as you like.

Elements you could add: Exercise, healthy smoothies, cooking something new, calling or e mailing a friend or relative and staying in touch. When we give to others this can also have a hugely positive effect on ourselves. But carve out time for you too. Planning, visualising, manifesting how you would like to show up in your life. It is really important to create a structure in your day to day life, implementing self care and activities to look after your mental and physical health.

 

When our problems overwhelm us, seeing things from a different angle can be super helpful. Whether this is achieved by a long walk or run in nature, or taking a sweaty cardio class, or getting focussed and calm in a yoga class. Or perhaps by helping someone else, which can be also hugely healing for ourselves, as well being helpful to others. Taking a step out of what is weighing us down to help another, can sometimes make our own worries look smaller and help us when we are stuck in our own heads. Whether that is reaching out and calling someone that is struggling, or offering help or your skills online, or maybe even starting a fundraiser, helping others gives to us, as well as to those you are helping.

So to sum up; fantastic ways of feeling better and losing unwanted feelings is through moving your body, soaking up nature, getting your heart pumping, or taking a well rounded practice like yoga that also calms us down at the end of the class. These practices cause our energies to shift and can help to fire up our creative brains, which is so very important particularly when we feel stuck in a rut. There is something out there for everyone. But looking after yourself is of huge importance, being aware of your mindset, your thoughts, and being your own best friend. How is your mindset doing today?

 

Author: Jess White

Jess has been teaching yoga for over six years after training in Miami initially in the strong style of Budokon yoga, and has since qualified in several other schools including Vikassa, Calm for kids, Apple yoga and Rainbow children’s yoga. Jess runs worldwide retreats, mini retreats, corporate classes, group and privates, and also works with children in schools and online.

She is passionate about sharing yoga with everyone and making it accessible for all.  Her approach is welcoming and warm with a dynamic sense of wholeness. And her passion lies in seeing the transformational benefits of yoga unfold in her students.

To check out some of Jess classes click here !

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