It’s been a long 12 weeks, right? Whether you are still working, furloughed or working from home; whether you are busier than ever or trying to find ways to pass the time, chances are, your life is quite a bit different than it was at the start of March.
Hopefully, you’ve been able to find some enjoyment in your lockdown. Many of us have enjoyed some of the simple pleasures in life at home, spending more time with our family, perhaps even talking to extended family and friends more often than we usually would as we’ve made an effort to keep in touch through a challenging time. You may have had a go at new things, like baking or learning a new language; you might even have committed some time to those jobs around the house that you might not have time for in your normally busy life.
But, even with these simple pleasures and enjoyments, most of us have been at least a little stressed out and anxious some of the time. This stress might be increasing as things start to drag on, as worries about the future start to take hold. Unfortunately, with no idea when life might return to normal, these stresses are unlikely to go away completely for quite some time. So instead let’s look at some of the things that you can do to cope with them.
Prioritise Your Finances
Money is a big worry for many of us at the moment. If you are furloughed, you may be worried about the future of your employment. You might be losing out on income, and if you run a business or work as a freelancer, you might wonder if you will ever be able to earn money in the same way again. Money worries at the moment are increasingly common, and the longer things go on, the more we are bound to think about our bank accounts.
Money stress can be all-consuming. It can be hard to focus on anything else or take pleasure from anything in our lives when we’re absorbed with worries about our finances.
So, start making a plan if you can. You might want to look at creating a simple household budget to manage your finances better, apply for a Buddy Loans Guarantor Loans and payment holidays to help you through a hard spot, and even consider ways to make some extra cash during the lockdown. You should also look at your options when it comes to benefits or any other monies that you may be entitled to.
Keep In Touch
Many families are actually finding that they are speaking to the people that they love more often than usual. They might not be able to see their parents in person as much as they’d like, but they are using FaceTime and other video chat platforms to check-in and catch up far more regularly than they would usually talk on the phone.
Keeping in touch with your family and friends, and even getting back in touch with people that you may not have spoken to for a long time can help things to feel more normal, and keep the time passing well. You may even find these reconnected friendships move with you into the new world, and become a welcome part of your life.
Remember Any Early Enjoyment
The start of lockdown was worrying and stressful, but part of it was quite good fun. Many of us threw ourselves into it enthusiastically, getting stuck into new home exercise routines, spring cleaning, baking with our families and trying new hobbies. Over time it’s only natural that this early enthusiasm has started to wane.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t bring it back or even try new things. If you enjoyed exercise every day or going for long walks after dinner, try to get back into it.
Get Dressed Up
There’s certainly no need to dress for work every day if you are working from home, or not working at all. Spending most of your time in sweats is certainly more comfortable. But, it can start to affect your mood. Getting dressed up can be a quick and easy way to feel more like your old self. Get dressed up and do your hair and makeup for a special date night at home, or even for a group video chat with your friends.
Start Exercising More
Exercise can be a great mood boost. It can also help you to sleep, reduce your stress level and give you a new focus. Home exercises like yoga can help you to relax and unwind, and going out for long walks in your local area can help you to reconnect with real life.
Make Some Plans for the Future
One of the hardest things right now is not being able to make firm plans. You might worry that anything you book will be cancelled, but plans help us to look to the future. You don’t have to book anything, but you can start to make simple plans like meeting friends for a walk.
Get In Touch with Work
If you’ve been furloughed, or you are working from home, one of the biggest worries that you have might be to do with your employment. You might be worried that you won’t have a job to go back to, or feel uncertain about when things may change. Keep in touch with your employer, and ask for updates to ease your stress.
Focus On Things You Can Control
It’s easy to get stressed out about the bigger picture. But, there’s not a lot that we can do to control it. So, instead, focus on the things in your life that you can control and change.
Get Some Time on Your Own
Being at home with your closest family is lovely. But, it can get a bit much, especially if you aren’t used to being with people all of the time. Go for a walk alone, spend time in your garden alone, or take a long hot bath, after locking the door. It’s still ok to need time alone sometimes.
Lockdown doesn’t have to be stressful. Well, at least not only stressful. If you can find ways to manage your stress, you may even be able to enjoy yourself.