With the latest government advice urging everyone to stay at home outside of essential trips for food, medical reasons or essential work, the lockdown period means we will all be spending a lot of time at home. This big change in lifestyle can take a toll on your mental health and wellbeing, as we're forced to adapt to a slower pace of life. To help you keep a healthy attitude and a positive mindset we have compiled a list of things you can do that may help you relax and improve your mental wellbeing. Remember to take care of yourself, check in with those around you and follow government advice #StayHome.
Keep in touch
Most of us are probably used to seeing our friends, family and colleagues every day, so being at home without these people around can be really difficult. The lack of social interaction is likely to make us all feel a bit blue, so make sure to keep in touch with those you care about. A text is great but when possible, phone calls and video chat are always a fun way to have a (virtual) face-to-face conversation. The usual FaceTime, Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts are all great options.
Another great website is Netflix Party which allows you to link up with friends far and wide and enjoy a good, old-fashioned movie night together over the internet! Maintaining relationships with our loved ones is so important to our mental wellbeing in general, but in times like this where we are physically isolated our social interactions are vital to maintaining our happiness. And who doesn’t want to binge a Netflix series with their besties right now?!
Take a virtual tour
Zoos, museums, art galleries and other tourist attractions across the world are closing their doors, many of them have taken the experience online, with virtual tours of the world's greatest attractions. Some of our favourites include Chester Zoos virtual tour available on their Facebook, giving an amazing insight into the lives and care of Red Pandas, Giraffes, even Asian Elephants, meaning you can spend a whole day with animals from the comfort of your own home, completely free. The Louvre in Paris have a whole collection of virtual tours online, including tours of Egyptian Antiquities, remains of the Louvre’s moat and exhibition ‘The Advent of the Artist’. You can take an online tour of The Natural History Museum in London via Google Arts & Culture. This tour is great for kids, meeting Dippy the Dino in the entrance hall before exploring specimens in jars, butterflies, the dodo and more as you browse the corridors from your sofa.
Do a project
Having something fun to focus on will not only keep you busy, it will also help keep your mind focused on something positive. Set aside some time each day to indulge in a hobby that you love, such as cooking, painting, reading or writing. Now is the perfect time to learn a new recipe, or start that short story you’ve always wanted to. Putting your time and energy into something you enjoy will be the ultimate mood booster, as well as helping you to stay productive. Learning something new is also a great way to keep your mind busy and spirits up. Why not try learning to draw or knit? There are plenty of online tutorials for free and you can easily order supplies online to be delivered to your door. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try your hand at baking? We love baking chocolate chip cookies, and this recipe from Joy Food Sunshine is totally beginner friendly! There's no harm in investing in some good quality baking utensils such as our Mango Wood Measuring Spoons, Olive Wood Flour Scoop or Olive Wood Mixing Spoon.
You could use this time to learn a new language! The Duolingo website and app are super easy to use and offer lessons in a whole range of different languages including French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Dutch, Arabic, Hindi and many more. Even better, it’s free to use, so get learning and maybe by the time lockdown is over you’ll be fluent!
Try relaxation techniques
If you are having trouble switching off from everything, why not try some relaxation techniques to help you relax? Especially important to help you get a good night's sleep. The NHS has some advice for breathing exercises that can help relieve stress, anxiety and panic that take just a few minutes each day, making them easy to work into your daily routine. If you prefer to listen to something soothing, there's a range of audio clips available on the NHS website to help you unwind using both male and female voices.
Essential oils are a great way to relax, the best oils for stress and anxiety relief are lavender, rose, bergamot and mandarin. We recommend Wild Planet Aromatherapy essential oils as they are 100% pure essential oils, hand poured in small batches in Kent. Their Mood Boost Room Spray will help you feel revitalised, uplifted and can easily be used throughout the day whenever you need a little lift.
We all know exercise is important for keeping your body healthy, it's also key to a healthy mind, staying active helps to reduce stress, boost your energy levels and keeps you more alert. The government currently permits 1 hour of exercise a day, so it is important to make the most of this and go for a walk, or maybe even a gentle jog. Remembering to maintain 2 metres distance from others. Sometimes you'll need a little more than just a walk, online classes will be your saviour. Our favourite yoga studio Hotpod Yoga are also offering many online classes from their nationwide studios. Simply pay what you can afford. Cat and Neil of Margate Pilates Studio are hosting a range of online classes for all abilities, their expert knowledge will keep you balanced and in shape.
Sometimes what you really need is a bit of me-time. All this time at home gives you the perfect opportunity to indulge in the ultimate night in, bringing the spa to you! Run yourself a nice hot bath, light some candles, put on your favourite relaxing music and enjoy some peace and quiet. We love Helm London, their candles smell incredible and are vegan, designed, sourced, and handmade in the UK. Each scent is hand-blended by their skilled artisans and personalised just for you. Our top picks are the Lavender Luxury Candle for its relaxing aroma, the Cocoa Butter Luxury Candle with its rich, sweet scent and the Sage & Sea Salt Luxury Candle which reminds us of the calming Margate sea. A scented candle is always best paired with an indulgent bath soak, and we recommend MOA’s Dreamy Mineral Soak made from mineral rich Himalayan pink salt and sea salt to cleanse and purify the skin whilst kick-starting circulation. It's infused with lavender, cardamom, lemon peel and pine oil. This bath soak certainly is dreamy, helping to promote relaxation, relieve stress and brighten skin, making it the ultimate bath-time treat. A good soak in the bath is best followed by a relaxing snooze, incomplete without one of our super-soft Indian Block Printed Cotton Eye Masks.
Stick to a daily routine
We’re creatures of habit, we thrive when we have a routine, often finding it difficult when we lose daily structure. Although your out of office, there’s no need to completely fall out of a routine. Keeping a routine has been proven to improve sleep quality, reduce stress and improve overall health and wellbeing. Being at home all the time can mean falling into some bad habits like avoiding regular exercise, working longer hours and not getting enough sleep. To avoid a slump try to establish a daily routine and stick to it. Getting up at the same time every day is a good start, setting aside time for regular breaks from work, daily exercise, meal times and most importantly making regular breaks for downtime alongside a reasonable bedtime. Pinterest has some great printable daily planners so you can help keep yourself organised.
We hope that you found these tips useful and are managing to keep yourselves happy and healthy at home. What are your favourite tips for improving your wellbeing?
Written By Leona Chapman