7 tips to help cope with lockdown

1. Stay connected with video calls
Phone calls are amazing, and are a great way to stay connected but seeing someone’s face really can make a huge difference to both of you on a phone call. It can lift your mood and make you feel less lonely and lets you see how someone is really looking rather than just saying they are fine – more peace of mind. There are lots of free video calling services you can use, and if you can connect to wifi this will help if you’re worried about data allowance on your phone. Don’t be shy about going on camera – your loved ones will really appreciate seeing you, even if you're in your pyjamas or onesies! You could really brighten someone’s day for them as well as for yourself.

A wee tip – try not to make the conversation all about coronavirus and talk about other things so that this situation is not taking over everything in life.  Connect about other things too.  Get the balance right.

2. Find yourself and others in your family a positive online community
There are lots of positive online communities, where you can make new friends, get inspired and chat about things you care about. You could try searching for groups involved in causes, music or TV shows you are passionate about.  If you’re missing your favourite outdoors activity, link up with others missing this too and share the frustration.

But remember when on-line to absolutely avoid anything that encourages you to do things which are harmful for your physical or mental health. If you're worried by things you're experiencing online, talk to someone you trust.

For people where gaming is not an addiction, it’s a great way to have fun and connect with others from your home and round the world. Helps you focus on things outwith your immediate home environment and challenges with lockdown. 

3. Reach out
You’re probably not the only person feeling scared, angry and more emotional, but you’re your normal, stressed, bored or frustrated. It's a good time for a catch up, so don’t be afraid to make the first move and reach out to someone you haven’t heard from in a while. They’ll probably be very grateful to hear from you. Send them a message and let them know you care and are thinking about them.  It will do you good and bring joy to others

4. Stay calm 
There are lots of great free apps you can use to guide you through breathing techniques and meditation that can help ease your anxiety and clear your mind of anxious thoughts. Headspace is a good place to start but there are many to choose from.  Also apps to help you get a good night sleep.  Why not also try some yoga as a way to relax and also get some gentle exercise which can boost your mood? There are lots of YouTube videos you can use to suit your ability and level of mobility.  Give it a go …..   Clean up your social media and try unfollowing or muting accounts that make you feel anxious, upset, or angry.  Find positive accounts like @youngmindsuk that can boost your mood and share your interests.  Learning languages can also help you
self-manage your mental health and get you ready for trips abroad when we have better times.

Also tempers will rise more quickly so make sure you and yours take time to walk away, find some room, calm down then come back and talk. 

No matter how much you love each other living together 24/7 is not a normal daily routine, especially if living in cramped rooms with no garden.  Give each other space! 

5.  Reframe …
“I am stuck inside” to “I can finally have the time to focus on my home, myself and loved ones”.  As dismal as the world may feel right now, think of the mandated work-from-home policy as an opportunity to refocus your attention from the external to the internal. Doing one productive thing per day can lead to a more positive attitude. Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganize, or create something you’ve always wanted to. Approaching this time with a mindset of feeling trapped or stuck will only stress you out more. This is your chance to slow down and focus on yourself and loved ones.  Stay close to your normal routine. Try and maintain a structure from the pre-quarantine days. For those individuals with children, sticking to a routine might be easier; however as you work from home, it could be tempting to fall into a more lethargic lifestyle, which could lead to negative thinking. Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen, and get out of your PJ’s. Not only will sticking to your normal routine keep you active and less likely to spiral, it will be easier to readjust to the outside world when it’s time to get back to work.

6. Avoid obsessing over endless Coronavirus coverage 
Freeing up your day from work or social obligations gives you plenty of time to obsess, and if you have a tendency to consult Google and other media  for every itch and sneeze, you may be over-researching the pandemic as well. Choosing only certain credible websites (who.int or cdc.gov is a good start) for a limited amount of time each day (perhaps two chunks of 30 minutes each) will be in your best interest during this time.

7. A chaotic home can result in a chaotic mind

With all the uncertainly happening outside your home, keep the inside organised, predictable and clean. Setting up mental zones for daily activities can be helpful to organize your day. For example, try not to eat in bed or work on the sofa- just as before, eat at the kitchen table and work at your desk. Loosening these boundaries just muddles your routine and can make the day feel very long. Additionally, a cluttered home can cause you to become uneasy and claustrophobic of your environment- so keep it tidy and get everyone involved in these and other tasks.