We’re facing trying times ahead, but there’s plenty you can do to reduce stress levels and stay productive
With the coronavirus dominating every conversation and turning society as we know it upside down, we’re all feeling more than a little stressed. What’s more, with government orders to stay inside as much as possible in full force, chances are you’re also feeling a little stir crazy.
But in true British style, each and every one of us is determined to keep calm and carry on. We may be stuck inside and worried about the future, but we’re also determined to make the best of things and put this time to good use.
So if you want to make the most of your time in isolation, we’ve got you covered. This are our top tips for staying calm, carrying on and staying productive during this tumultuous time. So relax, pour yourself a cuppa and get inspired.
Invest time in your hobbies
There’s never been a better time to get stuck into the things you enjoy. Whether it’s drawing, playing an instrument, crafting, learning a language, baking or something else entirely, self-isolation is the ideal excuse to improve your skills and unwind with your favourite activities.
And you don’t need to be an expert to give these skills a go. Even if you’ve never drawn a picture or baked a cake in your life, don’t be afraid to try your hand at something new. We all need to start somewhere, and there’s no time like the present.
Go easy on yourself
Of course, if you want to spend some time surfing the web, streaming your favourite shows, eating your favourite snacks and taking naps, that’s okay too. You don’t want all this time to go to waste, but at the same time it’s important not to go too hard on yourself and remember that, in times of stress, a bit of self-care and relaxation is absolutely essential.
It’s all about finding the balance. If you’ve spent all afternoon doing a deep clean or working on a new project, you shouldn’t feel guilty about spending your evening curled up in front of the TV with your favourite show.
Like we said, relaxation is important. And there’s no better way to relax then with mindful meditation. Sleep experts even recommend meditation as a great way to unwind and clear your mind before going to bed.
From Calm to Headspace, there are plenty of apps to choose from that can guide you through the meditation process and help you become a master of accepting and controlling your thoughts. If you’re struggling with feelings of stress during this time, taking just 10 minutes out of your day can help you feel a little more grounded and centred.
Give CBD a try
Hemp has been used for thousands of years for its natural pain-relieving and calming properties. And in recent times we’ve seen a resurgence in popularity of hemp-based products. Of course, acceptance of cannabis products varies from country to country but in most parts of the world, there is a growing interest in one of the plant’s key components – CBD.
CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is natural, beneficial and – unlike THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis – does not get you high. Instead, CBD works to restore balance to the body’s endocannabinoid system and, by doing so, helps with a number of bodily functions including sleep, appetite and pain relief.
What’s more, many users are finding that products like CBD oil help to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. And even better, online retailers like Smart CBD are making it easy to get high quality organic CBD oil delivered straight to your door.
Work, and if you can’t work, plan
For those of us who can work remotely, the goal is to keep things as ‘business as usual’ as possible. This means starting and finishing at the same time as you would in the office, giving yourself set breaks throughout the day, creating a desktop set up and getting dressed out of your pyjamas.
However, for those who can’t work during this time, the days can fee long and disorganised. But just because you can’t work, doesn’t mean you can’t work on the skills you use on a typical working day. Spend a bit of time keeping your work skills fresh in your mind so you aren’t completely rusty when things get back to normal.
Keep your fitness going
You might be housebound, but that’s no excuse to get lazy when it comes to your fitness regime. There are countless free YouTube workouts and online guides to follow that can help you keep fit, including P.E. lessons for the kids and specific regimes for seniors thanks to big fitness names like Joe Wicks.
Even without the equipment offered by your local gym, you can still put together a challenging regime. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, squats and burpees are sure to help you get moving and get a sweat on.
Enrol in online classes
If you’re worried about exercising your mind as well as your body, don’t let being stuck in the house stop you from improving your know-how. The internet is a fantastic source of educational information, including online classes that you can enrol in for free.
Whether you’re thinking about learning another language or taking on a new skill, try doing a quick Google search and seeing what online resources are available to you. Chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Take pride in your outdoor space
We’re heavily limited at the minute when it comes to leaving the house, meaning any garden, yard or outdoor space you have is suddenly going to become even more important. So there’s never been a better time to spruce up your garden and make the most of your outdoors.
Tidy up your borders, wash down your patio and invest in a few delightful springtime blooms. By making your outdoor space as welcoming as possible, you’ll essentially add an extra room to your home and give you more chance to enjoy a bit of fresh air throughout the day.
Complete a virtual tour
Visiting museums and galleries is something we all took for granted just a few weeks ago, but it seems that we won’t be heading over to our favourite cultural establishments for quite some time. At least, not physically.
But we’re living in a digital age, and many of the world’s leading artistic centres are providing some much-needed cultural relief to fans by setting up virtual tours. From the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to the Louvre in Paris to the British Museum in London, walking the halls of these legendary museums is now as easy as completing a few taps on your phone or a few clicks of your mouse.
Don’t isolate yourself emotionally
While it’s true that, physically, it’s best to stay isolated as much as possible, it’s important not to let this isolation impact your emotional and mental needs. Now is the time to make more effort to stay in touch with those closest to you, not less. Give family members a call, drop your friends a message and generally let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them.
Isolation can be hard, but despite what you might think, you don’t have to go through it alone. By pulling together emotionally, we can all make being physically apart that little bit easier.