Today we dive into our second part of our mental health at home series. Here, we explore more tips and tricks to keep you motivated and mindful while staying at home. This post focuses on the importance of balancing work and personal time, and the importance of taking time for yourself. If you haven’t already checked out part 1, you can find it in our blog feed now.
It’s hard to separate the two when spending all our time at home, but try to create some head space and break up the day where you can:
- Routine – being stuck at home can feel like groundhog-day but whether working or looking after the kids, create a routine you can all stick to and dedicate specific times for work/play.
- Get dressed – it’s tempting to hang out in pjs all day, but if you’re trying to be productive, feeling fresh from the shower and getting dressed for the day, regardless of whether that’s just into your lounge or activewear… can help to change your mindset.
- Take breaks – set reminders every 30-40 mins to get up from your desk and move around, even just to make a cuppa. If you’re feeling particularly active how about a quick boost of exercise? Try 20 jumping jacks or 10 push-ups while the kettle boils to get your blood pumping and re-energise.
- Create a dedicated working area – find a quiet spot in the house and set up an inspiring desk space, add photos or plants.
- Video calls – you might be reaching peak ‘Zoom’ by now but seeing others face to face can trick your brain into thinking you’re there in person and reduce feelings of isolation.
If you have the energy, now is the time to crack on with that never-ending to do list. Write everything down and check it off as you complete each task, this will help to ‘clear the deck’ for your mind and give you a lovely sense of achievement.
- DIY – be honest, there’s always something that needs doing and with home stores opening up or with access to online deliveries, now might be the time to finally put up those shelves!
- De-clutter – there is nothing like a good clear out, and you might not be able to take things to the charity shop or tip right now but its progress never-the-less!
- Create a capsule wardrobe – living in loungewear might have made you realise you don’t need half of your clothes, if so why not take some time to freshen up and streamline your wardrobe and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in a year, unless it has sentimental value or saved for a special occasion of course.
- Reading – long list of must reads? Mix up your Netflix habit and absorb yourself in a good book, minimising screen time should also help you sleep more soundly.
- Gardening – if you’re lucky enough to have outside space give it a little facelift with bright flowers or plan to be more self-sufficient and get ahead by planting veg you can enjoy in Autumn. Gardening has bonus points – getting dirty means contact with microorganisms in the soil for a healthy microbiome and immune system.
Alternatively, with everything going on, you might just want to take some time out from the overwhelm with our top 10 tips to help cheer you up!
- Start a gratitude journal – these are worrying times but rather than getting bogged down in the negatives, highlighting the positives can be beneficial for mental well-being. Spend 5 minutes each morning writing down a couple of things you’re thankful for and next time you’re feeling low give them a read, for added benefits share your positive thoughts with a friend by phone or text to help spread positivity.
- Meditation – can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels so download a meditation app like Headspace or Calm and set aside 10-15 minutes each day to help ease your mind.
- Run a bath – add calming oils like lavender, rose, ylang ylang or jasmine to wind down before bed, you can also add magnesium salts to ease muscle tension.
- Get your groove on! You don’t need to go out to let loose, get your favourite tunes on and dance around your kitchen or tune into one of the many live shows DJs are hosting across social media.
- Laughter therapy is a thing! Laughing relieves stress and releases endorphins so stick on a comedy, look for videos on YouTube or how about some laughter yoga?
- Stay social and set up regular calls with friends. Create a bit of structure by designating yourself as quizmaster, set up a virtual book club or share recipe recommendations with online cooking club and if you’re feeling adventurous an online cookalong? Positive social connections promotes our love hormone oxytocin, boosting self-esteem and optimism.
- Learn a new skill – had a guitar sitting around getting dusty for years? It’s time to dig it out, there’s plenty of online tutorials. If you fancy your chances at Masterchef, start getting creative in the kitchen, download a language app and brush up on your French skills or dig out your painting materials and channel your inner Picasso.
- Sort through your photos – with so many digital photos, why not book in some time to create digital photo albums or choose some you might like to print and frame.
- Be kind to others – helping others can stop us focusing on our own worries and boost our mood. You might like to find out if you can help elderly or vulnerable people in the community, perhaps doing their shopping.
- Be kind to yourself – most importantly, allow yourself to feel the way you do! These are strange and unique times so be patient, let off some steam and have a good cry if you need to. Things will get better!