As the dark nights come quicker with winter, it may be harder to stay busy inside or to leave the house due to the winter weather. But it is so important to leave the house even if it's just for a brisk run or a quick half an hour walk. It has proven that being amongst nature and exercising reduces anxiety, depression, and negative moods, as well as improving self-esteem and cognitive function.
Sometimes Zoom calls are just not enough social interaction! We are designed to interact with other people. You are allowed to exercise or to meet socially with 1 other person from another household in a public space, whilst maintaining social distancing. Meeting up socially even with just 1 person can really help if you need to chat; it can also make you feel less trapped and isolated. It may be a good way of breaking up your week too; planning to meet someone on a set day at a certain time feels a bit more like normality. Also, a training partner if you do want to keep fit over lockdown, is a great way to keep accountability! Some great places to meet include; Exhibition Park, the Quayside, Gosforth Park, and Jesmond Dene (and don't forget to bring your woolly hat and your mask!!).
One lesson we learned from last time was that you DO NOT have to be productive every single day. Binge all of Netflix if you want to, or do a home workout- both are equally as valid. It is not enough to just 'survive' lockdown. It is so important that we all cope in our own way. You are allowed to feel down some days, as lockdown brings it's own rollercoaster of emotions.
Social media was a blessing and a curse last lockdown. We live in a society where the news is more accessible than ever. Social media sites such as TikTok or Instagram portray false realities of how other people are spending their lockdown. It may be helpful to set aside some time during the week to shut down all devices. This could aid in feeling less anxious or to help feel more in control of the situation. I mean, let's be real, you honestly don't need to see that Becky has read 29 books and wakes up at 6 am every day, whilst all you've done is lay in bed eating crisps and watching Bake Off...
How will this lockdown impact the 'new normal'? The 'new normal' can be a scary thought for some. Lots of us want to return to the way things were! While it is important to be hopeful for the future, we still need to live in the present. Try and find casual magic every day, and think of what you're grateful for. Or you could try and do something you enjoy, such as crafts or reading a book to take your mind off things. Just take it one day at a time; we will get through this together.
Featured Image: [Pixabay @thedarknut]