Managing your mental health during lockdown 2.0

Lois King on 3 November 2020
lemonade

No-one wants another lockdown, but when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Here's how you can manage your mental health while at home this lockdown.

Going into another national lockdown is a bitter pill to swallow for all of us. While it’s crucial that we stick to the rules to protect our own physical health and that of others around us, it’s equally important that we don’t neglect our mental health, especially during the dark winter months. So, here’s our advice on how to look after yourself during lockdown 2.0:

1. Listen to podcasts

You won’t feel quite so alone if you’ve got a talk show host chatting away in your ear. When it comes to podcasts, there are loads of great shows out there, all of which tackle different topics in their own unique style. There’s something for everyone; for political and cultural issues, check out podcasts like Throwing Shade, or if you’re after something candid and informative, try Jen Gotch is OK… Sometimes for honest stories and help building your emotional intelligence. And if you just want a distraction from the current situation, then check out comedy podcasts like Best Friends or My Dad Wrote a Porno. After all, laughter can boost your mood, relax your muscles and protect you from stress. 

2. Make your home a zen space

If you’re going to be spending the next month at home, then it’s essential that you love your space. We know it can be difficult to find motivation with all the bad news we’re exposed to daily, but once you get off the sofa and start organising your things, trust us, you’ll feel better. Stock up on candles, cosy pillows and throws, and make your home environment a place that you love. The space we live in can really affect our mental health; find out more in our recent blog on whether changing your study environment boosts wellbeing (spoiler: it does!).

3. Find inspiration

If you love YouTube, then why not seek out some inspirational people to follow? You’ll find tonnes of content that you can relate to; from students battling with the impact of Covid-19 on their education, to videos of people finding ways to make the most of lockdown. If you’re looking for academic inspiration, then why not  check out our StudyTuber rankings here?

4. Stick to your routine

It’s easy to slip into a cycle of lounging around in bed all day, and we know how hard it can be to crack on with your daily schedule, given the current doom and gloom. That being said, you’ll really notice a positive change to your productivity and mood when you get into the rhythm of being up and ready at a set time. Simply showering in the morning and getting dressed as if you’re going to work or uni can instantly put you in the right mindset. 

5. Exercise and eating habits

Last time we locked down, it was springtime going on summer and we all wanted to get out and about and be active. With winter fast approaching ahead of this lockdown, the days are getting much shorter and colder. As a result, we might start to find ourselves feeling less enthusiastic about running, cycling or doing yet another Joe Wicks workout. However, just because the weather’s not on your side, it doesn’t mean that your exercise plan should go out of the window. Here are some easy exercises you can do during lockdown 2.0:

  • Go for a brisk walk - this helps you prevent conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure, in addition to improving your mood and giving you headspace.
  • Do some yoga - it’s a great way to start the day that does wonders for your flexibility, as well as your mental wellbeing. Thanks to YouTubers like Adriene, you can learn from the comfort of your own home, totally free of charge!
  • For exercises that can be done anywhere, check out our blog on the best at-home workouts to boost mind and body.. Get your housemates or family to join in, and encourage each other to beat your PB each day. 

We’re also more likely to take up comfort eating during times of uncertainty. If you’re living in a shared household or student digs, then store your Friday night treats in the kitchen, rather than your bedroom. That way you’ll have to leave your bed to snack, and that’s far too much effort. You could also organise healthy group meals and themed food nights to ensure you’re staying connected with your housemates and not holed up in your room all day. 

5. Stay connected

Most importantly, keep in regular contact with your friends and loved ones - lockdown will feel a lot less lonely. While we’re all sick of Zoom calls by now, face to face contact really does help, so make sure you schedule in some time to catch up with family and friends.

If you have any mental health resources or coping techniques that you’d like to share, then join our panel today and let us know. You’ll receive a free £10 Amazon voucher when you sign up.

Lois King
Lois King on 3 November 2020