As I write this on the morning of Wednesday 4th November 2020, messages are flooding in from my American friends, despairing over the seeming likelihood of four more years of Trump (I pray that this will have been proven wrong by the time you read this).
It’s extremely tempting to check the news and social media many times a day but for the sake of your mental wellbeing, I urge you to get very strict about only checking a couple of times and never first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
And if that weren’t enough to make the floor beneath us feel less-than-solid, tomorrow the UK will again be in a national lockdown, something we all hoped wouldn’t be necessary.
With the global uncertainty weighing heavy in our minds, and the prospect of a very long and lonely winter, it’s a pretty big challenge to stay in a level and positive headspace. So I thought I’d put together an emotional wellbeing toolkit for you to keep coming back to in the days and weeks (and hopefully not months) to come:
Set stricter boundaries with your phone than ever before: It’s extremely tempting to check the news and social media many times a day but for the sake of your mental wellbeing, I urge you to get very strict about only checking a couple of times and never first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Try switching off news, social and message notifications so you are more in control of when your attention is pulled to the topics that can induce a lot of anxiety in us.
Get outside every day even though it’s getting darker: Movement is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing and so is a change of environment. If you struggle to give yourself the motivation to go out for a walk, give it a purpose such as buying an extra ingredient for dinner. If you know you need a digital and news detox, leave your phone at home. If you’ve not heard another person’s voice that day, put on a motivating podcast to listen to while you walk.
Make yourself a daily joy ritual: This is highly individual. Make a list of 5-6 activities you know bring you a lot of joy and create a little daily ritual out of those (for example to do first thing in the morning). Alternatively, schedule those activities into your day if they’re too big to put into a single routine. Some examples could be singing, dancing, colouring in, cooking, reading, gratitude, cuddling a pet etc. It’s easy to think we’ll do enough of what makes us happy, but often we forget to make these activities a priority.
Have fun with food: We all love to eat, and eating out at restaurants or with friends is a huge part of life for many of us. So even though we can’t go to a restaurant or invite people over, make sure to keep having fun with food and treating yourself to delicious moments. Get creative with new and adventurous recipes, put on your favourite tunes while you cook and when you have the finished product, whether you’re solo or with a partner or family, set the scene for it with candles and music and really enjoy every bite (without your phone or the tv!).
Figure out how much online socialising you actually need: We’re all virtual socialising veterans at this point. Make sure as we come into this lockdown, that you find the balance that works best for you. This is again completely individual. For some people having zoom coffee/dinner/drinks several times a week is perfect. For others it’s really draining. Reflect on how it was for you the first time around and get more intentional about what you need this time.
Focus on what you can control: Always remember: you can’t control the election results, you can’t control lockdown measures, you can’t control the pandemic. More knowledge isn’t always more power power so zoom back into what you do have control over in your day to day life so you can keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Well & Truly remote team trainings can help you and your team boost physical and emotional wellbeing as well as individual and team productivity. Get in touch at email@example.com for more information.