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How to keep your mental wellness in check during lockdown.

It is completely normal to be experiencing stress and anxiety over these uncertain times. Just because you may be feeling emotional doesn't mean you should allow your emotions to overwhelm you or take control. It's a strange time for all of us and we are all being faced with our own unique challenges. There are however, some tips and techniques that can help everyone to keep themselves in check during lockdown.

Create a flexible routine

Structure and consistency in routine is essential for keeping calm and generating a sense of grounding and normality. If you mope around in your pajamas and stay in bed all day, your mood will dip because it simulates the experience of feeling unwell (whether physically or mentally) and has a psychological effect. Keep busy; keep to good hygiene practices and keep your spaces clean. This will help you keep a clean state of mind as well.

Take time to check-in

It is as important now as ever to check in with how you are feeling. Do body and mind checks throughout the day to help you acknowledge and validate where you're at. There is no wrong or right way to feel - just take the time to notice and allow what needs to be there to be seen.

When you start to feel overwhelmed ask yourself 'what do I need?'

Do you need to reach out to someone in your support system to chat or do you need to take a break from what you are doing? Perhaps you need 5 minutes to yourself or to do a calming breathing exercise. Trust yourself to make the best decision for you and practice self-compassion.

Make time for you

Set time aside in your day to engage in calming activities to ease your nervous system. Breathing exercises, creativity, movement, journaling and meditation are some lovely tools to help you feel relaxed and grounded in time of uncertainty. Insight Timer is an amazing free App which provides new guided meditations daily as well as talks and courses to help you in your mindfulness practice.

Focus on what you can control

There is much that is out of our control right now so focus on what is in your control. At first you may feel like there is nothing that is in your control but I guarantee that if you spend some time thinking on it there will be things that come to mind. Take some time to think of ways you can keep things in perspective and exercise resilience.

Set some expectations and boundaries

If you live with your family or are staying with family during the lockdown and are not accustomed to this then this can be a big adjustment. Take the time to set some ground rules: delegate chores to each family member, which are age appropriate. Set boundaries around personal time and family time and create opportunities for quality time together. If there are irritations which arise, practice confronting these as they occur rather then leaving them and letting things build up to a point of explosion.

You may also need to set some boundaries around sharing COVID-19 content - if a family member or friend is sharing too much you can kindly ask them to stop sending this to you as you would like to control your media intake.