Here we go again! We found our way through to the light at the end of the tunnel during the first lockdown. It was warm and sunny, we could sit outside in the garden, glass of wine in one hand, a good book in the other. The second lockdown in November was chilly but we had Christmas plans to make (little did we know we’d need to cancel them, but at least it gave us something to look forward to for a while!) and we also had an end in sight – a specific date the lockdown would be over. This time it’s a slightly different story. We don’t know how long we’re being quarantined for, it’s cold and damp outside and we need to put on five layers, scarf, hat and gloves, just to peg the washing out!
Being stuck at home during the winter months isn’t ideal. But it seems it is necessary, until the most vulnerable have their vaccinations, and so we have to accept it, even try to embrace it and make the most of it. Fortunately there are things we can do to make the weeks ahead more bearable. We just need to look for the positives.
Get into a routine
As nice as the idea of staying in your onesie til midday is, getting up and dressed and eating a healthy breakfast will help you feel more energised and ready for the day ahead. Maintaining a daily routine is important, particularly in the mornings, to help your mind and body wake up properly and feel refreshed. At the same time, don’t feel bad if you do fancy the occasional lie-in, we all need one of those once in a while.
Yes it is cold out there, but wrapping up and getting out for a walk (or a run) will be good for your physical and mental health. Being surrounded by nature works wonders for our wellbeing. It won’t be quite the same as a leisurely stroll on a warm summer day, admiring the colourful flowers, butterflies and bees, but there are other things to admire at this time of year; signs of early spring flowers peeking from the ground and the morning frost highlighting everything it touches.
Get your vitamins
Eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water and taking vitamin supplements where needed will be good for your general health, your immune system and your energy levels during the winter lockdown.
Get a new hobby or learn a new skill
Is there something you’ve been wanting to learn but have never got around to it? Here’s your chance, so grab it! Start an online course, or take up painting or photography, now is the perfect time to try something new or get back to something you used to enjoy.
Stay in touch with family and friends, whether on the phone, over Zoom, messenger, or just sending a good old fashioned letter or card in the post. And if you’re feeling alone or feeling down or anxious, make sure you reach out to someone.
Staying active is really important for your physical health and mental wellbeing. You don’t have to be doing high energy cardio all the time (although dancing is a real mood booster!), some days a gentle stretch session will do you the world of good.
A winter lockdown certainly has its downsides, but try to turn these around and make them positives. On dark, cold evenings, get cosy with a blanket, hot water bottle, a mug of hot chocolate and a good book or a film and use the lockdown as an opportunity to relax and recharge your batteries.
Fingers crossed, this lockdown won’t go on for too long. Start making plans to catch up with a friend, go out for a meal, get back to your exercise class, or visit your favourite local shops. With things to look forward to, lockdown #3 will be over before you know it!