As we enter week 5 of the UK lockdown, it’s clear to see that everyone is trying their best to follow the rules and stay home where possible.
There are less queues at the supermarket across the way from me, less people on the streets walking and an increase in people wearing homemade masks.
However important it is to stay home and stop the spread of the virus, it’s still affecting people incredibly. The rise in domestic violence is frightening, and its splayed all over Facebook where people are finding staying at home straining.
There are people like me, who lost their jobs when the epidemic started and applied for help and still have not received a penny. Then families staying in one property have an immense amount of strain placed on them as the contact is sheer overload, similarly, those home alone have no contact and are striving human contact. It’s this team of both financial worry and human contact which are causing a lot of people to suffer with mental health issues like anxiety and depression who maybe hadn’t experienced it before.
It’s these people who are plodding along but not knowing why they feel the way they feel. They’ll describe it as frustration or boredom but might have a cry when it gets too much.
It’s these people I want to address, these people I want to extend my heartfelt thoughts to. Yes, you’re struggling and you don’t have to compare yourself to others.
Too often I hear “well so and so have it much worse than me” as if offering yourself a sadness borderline where if you reach that line you’ll agree to be sad instead of accepting that you’re sad now.
It important to look at your own feelings, observe how this lockdown is affecting you and coming up with an action plan to make the most of it.
For instance, I’m a massive advocate for writing. By now you should know this if you’ve been following the blog. Most mornings since lockdown, I’ve had a certain routine. While my boyfriend sleeps, I browse the news in bed, not too much about Covid-19, mind you, but I try and find other stories as well, before I get up, make myself a coffee and read a magazine or a book.
It’s this quiet morning reflection and routine which calms me down, gives me time for me to reflect and truly think about what needs to be done during the rest of the day.
It’s easy to slip into a routine of getting out of bed late, staying in your pyjamas and binge watching yet another series on netflix but do you know what that sounds synonymous with? Depression. People with depression find it hard to get out of bed, find it hard to motivate themselves. And yes, it’s hard to break this routine once you have it but good god, breaking that habit is possibly the best thing you can do for your mental health.
In my next article I’ll discuss my routine for the day and how I break the depression cycle. Stay tuned for more or start a conversation on Facebook, I reply regularly and am happy to discuss anything about the points discussed in this article.