Helping you stay positive and motivated whilst at home

As the one-year anniversary of lockdown approaches, it is fair to say that most of us are reflecting on what a tough year it has been. Whether it’s job losses, restricted family visits, lonely loved-ones, or just spending more time within your four-walls, the past year has been one we never want to repeat.

New measures are to be announced and the long, slow process of unlocking our country, economy and lives in general, is about to begin. It is unlikely to be an overnight ‘switch-on’, so with that in mind, here are a few extra tips we’ve come across to help ready yourself for the final push!

 

Routine

When you’ve been stuck at home with little to do, it is very easy to get caught in a routine of watching television all day, staying in bed, getting little or too much sleep or spending hours on end scrolling through social media. This new, unhealthy lifestyle becomes normal and can make you lose a sense of purpose in your days.

Creating a daily routine, like this one from thespruce.com, either the night before or the morning of your day, can help you form new habits and keep you motivated to achieve these goals, no matter how large or little. If you struggle to think of how to form your routine, think about key elements in your life before lockdown.

  • Work: If you’re currently unemployed or Furloughed, spend time each day applying for a minimum of one new job role. This will help keep you motivated and achieve (at least) 7 job applications in one week.
    If you’re working from home, studies show that taking regular, productive breaks through the day can improve your motivation, prevent decision-fatigue and lower stress levels. Try scheduling a break every 75 – 90 minutes and see what works best for you!
  • Chores: You don’t have to clean the house in one go. Instead, you could thoroughly clean one room each day to spread out these hours, helping you to feel less stressed and distracted and giving you more physical and mental space to work.
  • Wellbeing: Meditation, learning new skills or even scheduling water breaks throughout your day, can all contribute to improving your productivity and health. LocationRebel has listed a number of new ways you can start your mornings if you are looking for a fresh routine during lockdown.

 

Make time to socialise

Isolating from a positive test for 10 days can seem daunting, especially if you live by yourself. It can be very easy to make the terrible mistake of isolating yourself away from others and pushing their help away from you. But you must remember that talking to someone about your problems will release built-up tension and could identify options or solutions you hadn’t thought of before. It can be hard to talk to people about how you feel, but you need the support of good friends and family to keep motivation levels high.

The recent lockdown may have caused parents and children to spend less time interacting with each other because of the new online world we live in. Spending quality family time together regularly can help battle boredom, increase happiness and bring a sense of belonging within the family. You can try organising a movie night or play a board game together once a week to build up your family bond.

The Government roadmap of Lockdown has stated that from the 29th March, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people or 2 households will also be allowed, making it easier for you to re-connect with your family and friends!

 

Staying active in Lockdown

Staying active is essential for getting through the remaining time of lockdown as it can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. Building activity into your day keeps your heart healthy, reduces your risk of serious illness and strengthens muscles and bones. It can also be a great way of reducing your stress levels and lifting your mood if you’re feeling down.

Physically Active

There are plenty of games that can be played with the whole family to keep everyone moving and active. From kicking a football in the garden, playing hide and seek in the house or a game of indoor bowling with some old plastic bottles, cups or loo rolls. It doesn’t have to be a lot of movement, but enough to get you on your feet!

Other at-home activities for yourself or your family can include yoga, dancing around in your home to your favourite music or even grabbing a skipping rope or hula hoop to develop or learn a new skill.

When you’re planning these activities, try and make sure you can perform it outside for some fresh air as often as possible. Natural sunlight, exercise and even meditation are known to boost Serotonin levels. This is particularly important for treating seasonal depression as we come out of the darker months, alongside relieving stress. If you can, make the most of this time by enjoying a family bicycle ride or a walk to your local park.

Mentally Active

Through these stressful times, you must remember to keep doing the things you love (as much as you can anyway). Little pleasures once or more throughout the day, will benefit you with the stress-reducing, positivity boosting effects on your mood.

 

How can you improve Endorphins?

  • Get Some Sun: Increase levels of Endorphins and Serotonin by simply getting outside. A walk, jog, bicycle ride, a spot of gardening or just sitting and enjoying the natural sunlight can all help.
  • Take a hot bath: The hot water can help relieve tension and pain in your muscles and soothe you after a stressful day. Adding scented candles or some essential oil to combine bathing with aromatherapy can trigger additional endorphin boosts!
  • Laugh away: Laughing, whether you’re by yourself or with friends can help relax the body and boost those endorphins. In fact, Laughter Therapy helps battle other moods other than stress, such as anger and anxiety to help lift your mood – even if it is forced laughter.
  • Focus on music: Playing instruments, listening to music, singing or just shouting can all boost your endorphins and make you feel good. So, put on your favourite album and sing (or shout) away!

 

Feed your brain

Brain teasers that challenges both sides of your brain with number or word puzzles can improve concentration and memory and reduces the risk of developing dementia. If you’ve binge-watched everything on Netflix, brain teasers are a great option for tackling boredom!

 

Keep your brain active and focused with brain teasers.

Sharp Brains – https://sharpbrains.com/brainteasers

Brain Games – https://www.brain-games.co.uk/

Puzzle Prime – https://www.puzzleprime.com/brain-teasers/

Improve Memory – https://www.improvememory.org/brain-games/

 

Volunteer

In our current pandemic, volunteering may bring comfort to some and help them overcome the feelings of an inactive lifestyle and loneliness as they are separated from loved ones. MentalHealth.org has stated that by helping strangers, you can boost endorphin levels as your self-confidence is improved and it encourages us to be more active. This is particularly important to those who are retired, have lost a loved one or recently lost their job, as it is suggested that volunteering can support social identity and allows those who volunteer to feel better about their role in their community.

Volunteering to help neighbours and your community means you’re bringing value back to your wider community, and in return, can boost your self-esteem and gives you a more positive outlook about your own circumstances. A selfless act can involve shopping, picking up prescriptions, taking dogs for a walk or even volunteer at your local NHS centre.

 

Be patient with yourself.

It is completely normal to feel sad, worried, frustrated, angry, and lonely. Your income may have decreased, maybe you feel your future is uncertain and you may lack a sense of purpose whilst at home.

The key is to always be looking towards the future with an optimistic approach. If you’re staying busy, maintaining a lifestyle that works for you, have faith in a strong support system and include what we have outlined in this article to your routine, you can help yourself become a better, healthier person and have greater control over your stress levels and life.

Remember, this is only a temporary situation – from Monday 8th March, the current lockdown restrictions will start to relax, and we will be able to start the journey back to a more normal life.

 

How can Twentysix help?

Over the course of lockdown, we have remained active and working closely with placements within Government and local authority-based contracts. Find out more about who we are and how we can help you!

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