A – Z of Selfcare: Lockdown Edition

Welcome back to That’s What Pea Said… Have you checked out my latest blog post: 5 Things I’m Loving This Week… I’m a big fan of sharing idea’s for selfcare and so I thought I’d update my original A-Z of Selfcare with a lockdown edition… Selfcare is paramount for preserving our mental health and wellbeing and it is important to remember that selfcare is not always bubble baths and colouring books, sometimes it is the really mundane tasks like brushing our teeth and remembering to take our washing out of the machine and hanging it on the airer. Unfortunately, we have been given no indication as to when the UK Lockdown will end and even post-lockdown things will not return back to pre-covid restrictions anytime soon, however I believe that these selfcare ideas will be timeless and it just so happens that they’re lockdown appropriate and are super relevant right now.

I hope these ideas will inspire you and I would love to read any of your suggestions in the comments…

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Avoid Triggers:

One of the techniques which I have found to be most beneficial to supporting my mental health and wellbeing is to avoid triggers… During this time, this includes avoiding the news and taking the time to mute particular words and accounts across my social media platforms. I have opted to mute all Covid related content, however you can apply this action to anything which causes you stress and discomfort.

Be Kind To Yourself:

There is never a time when kindness is not important, however I think that now it is particularly important to focus on practising kindness with both ourselves and with others. Be kind to your mind, be kind to others, be kind to the planet and be kind to every kind. If you’re looking for some inspiration, you can check out my post: 30 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself.

Communicate:

Communication is paramount, both in terms of socialising from a distance and in terms of communicating our feelings with others. You can read about the importance of communicating your feelings here: It is important that we remember that other people cannot read our minds and that we cannot expect others to offer empathetic understanding if we don’t communicate with them how we are feeling. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with friends and family, there are lots of professional services whith you can reach out to.

Do What Makes You Happy:

Admittedly, many of the things which bring us happiness are currently out of bounds however, this lockdown is the perfect opportunity to go back to basics and find the things which make us happy… There are a plethora of enjoyable activities which we can do within our own homes and if there is nothing which springs to mind, put some time aside to do some research and make a list of all the activities which inspire you… following this, give them a try and you might surprise yourself…

Eat Your Greens:

Although it doesn’t sound very exciting eating nutritious fruits and veggies is so important for maintaining a healthy immune system and for promoting healthy cognitive function. I could very happily eat raw fruit and veggies all day every day however, I understand for some people they don’t find the same appeal and so this is the perfect opportunity to get creative, perhaps try and add your greens into juices and smoothies, or use avocado within your baking – there are so many options for you to discover!

Feel Your Feels…

The truth is, I don’t think any of us enjoy feeling rotten or experiencing feelings of negativity, however it is important that we allow ourselves to feel each and every one of our feelings, especially those which we consider to be uncomfortable. We may not choose to vocalise these feelings, however that’s when it can be beneficial to use a journal for dumping and exploring our thoughts and feelings. By allowing ourselves to feel our feels, we allow ourselves to heal and move forwards.

Gratitude:

Gratitude is a favourite selfcare technique which I write about frequently. Everyone agrees that expressing gratitude makes us feel good and studies show that it boosts your health, calms your mind, lifts your spirit and allows you to appreciate the little things in life… Earlier this year, I read that we have the ability to rewire our brains simply by stating three things we are grateful for, everyday for 21days. I honestly didn’t believe it until I tried it myself… You can read my thoughts are about the importance of gratitude here.

Habits:

Any benefcial act of selfcare is not an action which you’ll only do the once, it’s an act which ideally will become a habit, part of your routine, and eventually an act which will become second nature… We have helpful and unhelplful habits and it is important that we take time to distinguish between the two. You can read more about this here.

Imagine You are Somewhere Else:

This is potentially easier said than done, however I find that meditation or simply focusing my thoughts elsewhere is an extremely helpful way to manage my anxious thoughts and negative thought cycles. I have also found that scent is particularly effective when trying to assist my brain with imagining that I am elsewhere. Scents can often trigger a memory response for us, so it is worth thinking about the scents which create a happy memory for you and incorporating these into your daily routine.

Journaling:

I am a big fan of journaling and I have found it to be a particularly effective method of selfcare. Journaling allows us to create a meaningful connection with ourselves, which is important for our self acceptance, self development and growth. Journaling also encourages us to understand our thoughts and feelings, identifying patterns of thoughts and behaviours and emotional triggers: positive and negative… You can read my introduction to journaling here.

Knitting:

Knitting might not sound super cool but it’s a craft which I have really enjoyed during the past year. Although I hadn’t knitted for many years, knitting a snood has been on my bucket list for many years and so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to make a start. One of the reasons why I am enjoying knitting is that it takes time and focus, it almost feels like a method of meditation and I am all for it!

Laugh Out Loud:

It’s often said that laughter is the best medicine and I am totally inclined to agree, especially during such uncertain and unatural times. If you’re stuck for inspiration there an endless playlists on youtube which will have you cackling for hours. Another suggestion is if you find something exceptionally funny be sure to share it with others! Laugher is contagious and everybody loves a good laugh!

Manage Your Expectations:

It is important to remember that it is totally okay if your productivity is looking a little bit different right now, almost everything is looking a little different. It is easy to think that we have all the time in the world whilst we are in this lockdown, however as I said in my recent post: 21 Lessons for 2021: If it’s important then I will make time for it… It turns out unless you put time aside to do particular activities you won’t actually put the time into doing said activities. It might sound silly but I am sure that we have all been in situations where we think we have all the time in the world and then at the end day we are left wondering where the time went… If it’s important to you, you’ll make the time.

Nostalgia:

I am sure that I am not alone in using throwback photos to bulk out my social media content… In addition to refreshing old photos to create content, re-visting past experiences is nostalgic and creates a feeling of comfort and certainty. I think the majority of people enjoy feelings of nostalgia and comfort and these feelings have been known to help ease our anxieties. I’m shamelessly nostalgic, perhaps because I’m a Cancer? I don’t know, but I love re-visiting my memories and I don’t plan to stop sharing them any time soon.

Optimism:

I recently tweeted if anybody told me to stay positive that they would be issued an instant block and this is a notion I stand by. I was finding it particularly difficult when I expressed to friends how I was feeling and their response was to tell me to stay positive… Optimism and positivity are not the same and I don’t think that it is healthy to tell someone to stay positive when they are going through a difficult situation, especially if it’s one which you’re not familiar with. Optimism comes from within, and I think that it’s important to take time to focus on the good, even when everything overall feels really rather shitty, it will (eventually) pass.

Postpone Checking Your Socials:

When you wake up it can be tempting to automatically grab your phone, but it can be really beneficial to hold fire and take some time to focus on you. I’ve found that putting my phone onto sleep mode between 10pm and 10am has been really helpful in preserving my energies as I very quickly learnt thats other peoples problems can wait until I’m ready to tackle the day. Forming this habit has improved my sleep and makes me feel as though I am in control of the media which I choose to absorb.

Quiet Time:

Taking time to sit quietly with my thoughts has been really beneficial to my mindset and overall wellbeing. Although I am still not the biggest fan of early morning’s I am trying to get into the habit of waking up earlier, even if I don’t use the hour for physical activity I like to take the time to catch up with my reading, meditate and manifest my desires.

Reducing Caffeine:

When it was originally suggested to me that I reduced my caffeine intake, I decided to go cold turkey (I felt rotten & would not advise this). I took advice about my decision and it was suggested a gradual reduction to prevent withdrawals. I will very occasionally have a caffeinated drink (it’s in more drinks than I realised) but overall I have noticed a difference, it reduced palpitations and it was an easy change to make.

Set Yourself Goals:

Studies show that we are happier when we have goals to achieve, so set yourself some goals:

Set 1x goal for today
Set 2x goals for this week
Set 3x goals for the month
Set 4x goals for the year

This method allows you flexibility and you’ll have achieved something by the end of the day!

Tackle The Hardest Task First:

This is an effective method of getting your most difficult task out of the way and once you’ve completed this, everything else will be easier and that’s positive. Furthermore, you can crack on with the simple tasks without this hanging over you.

Unfollow:

If you’re following accounts which are uninspiring, triggering or make you question your worth – stop! You don’t owe anybody an explanation and your feeds should be tailored to create the vibes you enjoy!

Vulnerability:

During the healing process, vulnerability is paramount. In order to heal, we need to know what emotions we are experiencing and what is triggering these responses. Furthermore, by exposing our vulnerability to others, we allow others to offer empathetic understanding and in turn aid us within our healing journey. It might feel daunting at first, however there are so many benefits to accepting and embracing your vulnerability.

Walking:

I have always enjoyed walking and fortunately, it is both enjoyable and beneficial to my mental health and physical wellbeing. If you’d like some ideas for easy ways to walk more you can have a read of my post: 15 Super Easy Ways To Walk More.

A number of benefits of walking include:

– connecting with nature
– receiving vitamin D
– allowing your mind space to wonder
– practicing self love
– exercising and moving your body
– giving yourself time away from screens and technology

XO’s:

Although social interactions are limited, this doesn’t mean that we can’t take comfort from either cuddling our animals, a soft toy or by finding comfort from the materials which we surround ourselves. Who doesn’t love a comfy blanket? Some people have even shared the benefits of giving yourself a hug, although this isn’t a habit which I’ve added into my routine.

Yoga:

I thought I would use this opportunity to share some of the popular benefits of yoga. I’m a big fan of yoga and I’ll be sharing some more yoga-related content as part of my Badass Habits Readalong. Perhaps you can join me on my journey?!

Yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility
Yoga helps with back pain relief
Yoga can ease arthritis symptoms
Yoga benefits heart health
Yoga relaxes you, to help you sleep better
Yoga can mean more energy and brighter moods
Yoga helps you manage stress

zzz’s and flying v’s:

Although it might sound obvious, one of the most important things which we can do to practice selfcare is to ensure that we have an effective sleep routine. Given the nature of a lockdown and the additional anxieties which we are experiencing, it is only natural that this will impact our sleep and therefore it is even more important that we create a nightime routine and practice the appropriate sleep hygiene.

I appreciate that this is a fairly extensive list, however I hope that you’ll find an activity which you too can enjoy during these frustrating and uncertain times… Do you have any lockdown selfcare tips to share?
Lets chat in the comments xo

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