Recharge and reset: self-care in lockdown
If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a million times: lockdown is the worst.
Between worry about the state of the world, feeling a lack of connection, missing loved ones, and looking after your health – you’ve got a lot on your plate!
That’s why self-care is so important. And we’re not just talking about baths and face masks (although those can be great!) Self-care is all about putting yourself and your health and well-being first, even when it’s hard.
Here are six quick tips for looking after yourself and beating those lockdown blues.
1. Don’t worry – it’s normal to feel weird!
We’re in a very strange time, you may be feeling angry, apprehensive, stressed, sad, and all manner of other emotions. Remember that this is a completely abnormal situation, so any reaction you have is just your way of coping to that abnormality.
2. Set boundaries and say no
This is when self-care becomes a bit tricky. Considering we’re all spending so much time at home, it’s easy to keep saying yes to things – we’ve got so much time right? Umm… yeah but also no?
You can only take on so much before you start feeling overwhelmed or burnt out from overloading your plate. It’s ok to say no and keep your schedule a little more free.
3. Focus on what you can control
There’s so much that’s out of our control at the moment, so it makes sense that some of us are feeling a little lost or drained.
Try to counter this feeling by focusing on what you can control. You could try writing down one achievable goal every day when you wake up. Then at the end of the day, reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Celebrate your success if you managed to achieve your goal. And if you didn’t quite get there today, try again tomorrow, or change the goal to one that’s more achievable.
If you’re working or studying from home, it’s likely your screentime has reached astronomical heights.
If you feel able to, try to get outside at least once a day. Go for a walk or sit in the sun to give your eyes and brain a break from staring at screens. You could even listen to a podcast or read a book so you feel even more energised.
One of the hardest parts of lockdown is missing our friends, family, and co-workers. It’s so important to reach out, not just for yourself but also for your loved ones.
Connect with another person each day. If they live near you and it’s safe to do so, you could go on a walk or exercise together. Otherwise, try giving someone a phone call or catching up over Zoom. You’ll probably find it boosts both your moods!
6. Don’t live at work
It’s hard to find separation from work at the best of times. For those of us working from home, the struggle to switch off at the end of the day can be even more difficult than usual.
If you’re also WFH’ing, try to find some disconnection by having a concrete start and end to your work day. This could be changing your clothes, exercising, turning off your email notifications, or just stepping away from the desk for good. Make it clear that work stays at work, even if you’re in your home space.
Lockdown is never easy, but with a couple intentional self-care moves you can make it a little easier on yourself. If you need support, it’s available.
At UTS you can access confidential counselling services that will allow you to speak to a professional for free. They help out on a range of issues, from personal to study and work-related. UTS also offers specialised support groups that help support and advocate for students.
For even more support, try some of the resources below.
- Beyond Blue. Support and advice: 1300 22 4636.
- Lifeline. Crisis Support: 13 11 14.
- Headspace. Support for 5-25 years olds: 1800 650 890.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Lily Cameron is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She is a UTS Communications (Creative Writing) graduate, and current Communications Assistant at UTS Careers. She is passionate about telling stories, both hers and others’, and the way digital and social media is changing the literary landscape. Her writing has appeared in Voiceworks, The Brag, and elsewhere.