Fed up with lockdown? I caught myself being all moany and negative yesterday and realising that my team were perhaps feeling the same, I had a good think about having a bit of a reset and not getting carried away on a sea of negative thoughts.
So here are my 5 Lockdown Top Tips for keeping yourself 'up' and focussed on all the things that are good in your life.
1. Set aside 5 minutes EVERY morning and sit and think or write in a journal. Set your intentions for the day. This might be: I'm going to laugh lots today / I'm going to focus on one project and get it finished / I'm going to make homeschooling fun today / I'm going to be calm about my workload today. When you actively think of how you want your day to go, it will go that way!
2. Combine a mundane task with a good action. For example, when I'm hanging out the washing, I FORCE myself to think about how grateful I am to have 3 kids to be doing washing for, rather than what I want to do, which is moan about doing the washing! We all perform so many mundane tasks every day so attach a good action to those tasks. Alternatively, be completely in the present and focus entirely on that task and shut your mind off from thinking. Our minds need periods of rest.
3. Gratitude. Remember that despite lockdown, the majority of us are so lucky. Find the things that you are grateful for. Whether this is that you are healthy or have a partner to share the load, or you are still working, or have food or hot water or perhaps you have a garden or are able to enjoy a nearby park. There are millions and millions of people who are so much less fortunate than us. Write down 5 things you are grateful for every day or focus on all you have to be grateful for before you go to sleep at night.
4. You are the only one that can change how your life goes. Complaining and moaning does not make problems go away, it only makes them more visible and more in focus. Think of what you want, NOT what you don't want. Set yourself a challenge of no moaning or complaining for a day. You may be astonished by how often you have negative thoughts. Banish them! This takes time and training.
5. Actively reach out to someone and say something kind to them. If your partner has made you dinner, make a point of saying a heartfelt 'thank you'. Or call a friend and tell them how much they mean to you. Or send a picture of your kids to Granny. Thinking of other people diverts attention away from ourselves and can help get you out of a funk.
It's all too easy to become addicted to drama, moaning and negativity. With daily practice, you change this around and as a result, your life, even in lockdown, can be so much better and richer. However, you have to actually do the work! No-one can do it for you just like no one can do the press ups for you at the gym (when it's open)! These small additions to your day will reap HUGE rewards. Commit to make these tiny changes.
And remember, it's ok to feel down but don't dwell. Accept that you are feeling down, allow yourself a set amount of time to dwell and then STOP. Think of all the good you have in your life.
I've had to remind myself of these things, especially at the moment, as it's all too easy to slip into blaming and complaining but this just hurts us.
I hope this is helpful in some small way.
You are awesome so be sure to remind yourself of that.
p.s don't underestimate the power of music! If you need cheering up, put on some headphones and blast your favorite tune or drive somewhere (within 5 miles obviously) and sing loudly and badly. Always a winner!