The world has the potential to be a pretty scary place right now. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone, not only impacting people’s physical wellbeing, but also their mental wellbeing – something which is occasionally falling out of consideration.
There’s plenty of advice going around about how to look after yourself, but it’s important to remember that whatever you do to look after your wellbeing doesn’t have to be ‘big’ or ‘monumental’, and you’re definitely not a failure if you’re not utilising your newfound time in the way other people think you should. So, here are some of my top tips for looking after your wellbeing during COVID-19.
Take a Shower
When things are especially hard, something you might deem as simple as taking a shower is imperative for your welfare. The process of getting up and trying to start or finish your day with a shower is a simple yet effective way to help you feel like you’ve achieved something. Even if you don’t feel like you can have a long shower where you wash your hair, stepping in for five minutes might is a great step. If you can’t face a shower, you could brush your hair, and if brushing your hair seems like too much, splashing your face with water is enough. There are so many little things you can do to look after yourself, even if you feel like you can’t do something ‘big’.
Do Something You Love
A lot of people are suggesting that you should start a new hobby, but with the amount of big changes going on now, this can be quite intimidating. Also, it’s not always possible to purchase things to facilitate a new hobby, especially given the current uncertainty. So, instead of starting a new hobby, you could focus on going back to something you love or used to love – I’ve been doing a lot of painting recently as it’s therapeutic and calming!
Alternatively, there are plenty of videos and websites online for learning, so you can consider revisiting your favourite subject from school. I’ve been working on sites like Duolingo to improve my German – which I haven’t studied in years! – and I’ve found that focusing on things I already have foundations in is much more fun and a lot less intimidating than starting something new.
Remember that it’s Okay if You’re Not Sticking to a Routine
Rounding back to my previous comments, there are a lot of expectations being imposed onto people right now, specifically regarding wellbeing and productivity; there’s a lot of focus being placed on the importance of sticking to a routine, which can be very intimidating for some people. Setting yourself goals or a routine can be disheartening if you don’t think you can achieve all you’ve set out to do, so it’s also important to be realistic about what you individually can achieve.
Above all else, it’s important to remember that if something works for you, that’s all that matters! If you like winging your day or prefer to plan out every single moment, if you like to have a strict routine or would rather set yourself a list of three things to complete during the day, only you can know what works for you. A simple way to look after your wellbeing is to acknowledge this and work around your own abilities.
We’re all trying our best to find something that works for us so, while it’s tempting to compare to other people, don’t let someone else’s ‘normal’ undermine yours. As you’re totally unique and have your own capabilities, you may not be able to do as much as someone else, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing any worse. It’s important to look after yourself and the people around you, check in on your friends if you feel like you can and to keep looking forward.
By Jo Sadler