With new rules, local lockdowns, and changes happening all the time around Covid-19, we thought we’d share a couple of the things that have helped each of us through lockdowns so far. Hopefully these ideas can inspire you to find what works for you! If you wanna read more, check out our previous posts: Quarantine Coping Fun & Tips for Coping During Lockdown. Here are the things that help the HATW team through lockdown!
I think video games have been a coping technique of mine for a while now. I really enjoy either losing myself in a big open world adventure like Red Dead Redemption, or just being able to kick back and enjoy playing something simple like Fall Guys. As someone who massively struggles to slow down my thoughts and switch off my brain, video games have been a huge help to me for years.
Lockdown happened to coincide with Call of Duty: Warzone dropping. This was the first time I’d properly actually tried playing games with pals online. And suddenly, it was a chance to connect with people I’ve not spoken to for years, or friends that I otherwise don’t get to hang out with as much as I’d like. Sure, it was good to be playing games and chasing that win. But the best bit about it has been playing with pals. Even if we’re not particularly talking, it’s lush to have another way to connect with people, without having to be on Zoom.
I’m gonna preface this by saying that I can’t lift very heavy things. BUT. At the start of lockdown, I decided that I was going to try and be physically active at least once a day. I’ll be honest, there’s been a lot of days where I’ve not been super active. And particularly in these more autumnal months, I’ve been much more about curling up under a blanket than bicep curls. And that’s ok too.
In general though, I’ve found that when I do spend a bit of time exercising, it’s been really good for my mental health. I feel like I’ve achieved something. I started out by just literally laying on the floor and lifting some of my drum gear up over my head a few times. Drum stuff can be silly heavy. Then I found some old dumbbells and a kettlebell, and a bunch of follow along workouts on YouTube. Eventually, it just became part of my daily routine (something else that’s suuuuper important during lockdown) to get up and do something physical before my morning shower.
And even if I don’t look like The Rock, it does feel flippin’ great to see myself getting better and better at it each time.
You don’t necessarily need weights to be able to do it! Just find stuff in your house (that you can safely lift up..!) or even just doing stuff like pushups means you only need the weight of your own body. Tidy.
I think this is something that I’ve always tried to do, especially as I’ve been running my own business for the past 3+ years. I find that my brain wanders A LOT. I get distracted easily and can find it hard to concentrate at times. Writing lists is something that I always loved doing when I was younger for some strange reason, but I’m kinda thankful for that in adult life.
At the start of the week write one big to-do list for the week. I section each bit of the to do list with different headings – for me it’s like things to do for Heads Above The Waves, BETHANMILLERCO, Photo editing, admin etc. I then highlight the urgent things I need to do and cross them off the list first! I honestly think crossing things off a list is one of the great things in life – it feels flippin’ amazing when you’ve completed a task. It really helps me to keep my brain focused and myself focused at the task at hand!
I feel like writing lists come hand in hand with getting in a routine! Lockdown taught me the importance of getting a routine in place. Get up at the same time daily or at least a similar time & have a plan of action for how to start your day. It’ll get you up and going rather than staying in bed til the afternoon (don’t worry -we’ve all been there!)
In NO WAY am I a runner haha, but I definitely try! I’ve always wanted to run, I don’t know why but it always looked so cool. I had my first proper attempt at running during the first lockdown where I did Couch To 5k. It was a lot of fun and each week they get you to run a little further so you can really see your improvement. Eventually I gave up as it got tough and I had an injury but I recently moved to a new town and bought some swanky new trainers to motivate myself to run again. And y’know what I did it! Maybe not as much as I should, but I still try and that’s the most important thing! After a busy day, it really helps to clear my mind and unwind; or if I’m filled with energy, restless or have a lot on my mind I try and take 30 mins and go for a little jog in the area.
It is hard, and I get really frustrated at times, but its nice to concentrate on something else for a little bit – even if it is – “omg why is this hill so steep!”
Pop some headphones on, get outta the house and feel the fresh air. Start off small with some walks and build yourself up to a jog – you never know, you might love it!
We’re all from Cardiff and I’m an events manager/DJ, so when a local lockdown and the 10pm curfew was announced recently I felt proper lost! I think the magnitude of everything took me out like a big metaphorical wave, sweeping me off my feet and leaving me spluttering and bewildered on the sand! Up till that point I’d thought things had been getting better. I’d been feeling optimistic and trying to keep my chin up. Everything hit me at once and I felt really low.
That day I spoke to some of my friends and said I was struggling. They were great and let me vent and express my worries. They listened and were comforting. I mentioned it in my other job to some of my co-workers that I was feeling overwhelmed and it was strangely comforting to know that they too felt that way. It put things in perspective for me that I wasn’t going through this alone- we were all worried and trying to figure out solutions and ways to adapt. Together!
I messaged my family group chat the next day and they were fab and sent me loads of comforting messages. They became my biggest cheerleaders when I needed it.
I realised that I’d been bottling things up because I felt bad talking about my worries when we’re ALL going through it. But it’s so important right now to reach out to your support networks. To give yourself a safe space to chat through what’s on your mind, to get advice but also to just have a laugh and put things in perspective. Even if you feel like you can’t talk to anyone you know, there’s a bunch of helplines on our site that are run by trained professionals who can listen and support you. You’re not alone – please remember this – even when you feel like you truly are. There’s always someone who will listen and someone who cares.
It’s also good to check in with people too. If you’re having a good day and feel up to it, message or call your family, your mates and the people you work with. Check in with them and show them you care. It can go a long way.
We’re all going through it, and we’re stronger together (even if we can’t physically be together.)
How many of us have had plans cancelled this year already right?! Festivals, holidays, gigs, weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries…basically all the good stuff! I’ve even recently had to cancel a staycation because of local lockdown 🙁 It’s like we can’t win! And when your days all start to feel and look really similar it can be super hard to motivate yourself! I know going to gigs or seeing my mates were things that really helped me and got me through the long weeks or the tough days. It might feel kinda futile to try and plan things now or for next year (let’s face it, this year is a write-off. Wear a mask and follow the rules friends!)
But I just need things to look forward to, even if they don’t happen. I need something to work towards. So I’ve planned a holiday and booked festival tickets for 2021 (come on Slamdunk cruuu!)
They might not happen, but I need to dream right now! And if they don’t happen in 2021…there’s always 2022! But seriously, even just doing what you can and giving yourself little things to look forward to- like having your fave takeaway on the weekend, booking a time slot at your local museum for a little educational afternoon wander, buying a new book to cosy up with when it’s rainy out. Any tiny snippets of joy you can get – we recommend doing them.
I love Halloween so I’m going all out with my decorations this year and trying to watch a spooky film every day. I just need to give myself something to look forward to, a sense of occasion and a reason to get excited. It’s working so far and making my weeks feel a little more special. Little milestones help break up the month. Do things for yourself, treat yourself! Put things in your calendar and get creative with your free time. If you’re looking for some self care ideas we have a whole host on the website of things you can try!
So do whatever you can to put a smile on your face in these trying times.
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