Top tips for mindfulness during lockdown

With our lives seemingly turned upside down in the current coronavirus crisis, it can be difficult to stay positive and keep a healthy mind. It is key however to try and overcome the negative emotions that you feel, and do things that are good for your mental health.
These are some tips for mindfulness during lockdown.

Introduction

My name is Maria and I am the Enablement Officer for the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside.

I am normally based at the Henshaws office in Dukinfield, but like many other people, I am currently working from home whilst continuing to support our sight loss community remotely.

I have put together a few ideas for mindfulness techniques that can help you to overcome any negative emotions whilst in lockdown, which can be a challenging and socially isolating time for many people.  I hope you find them useful.

Image shows a young woman wearing a pink Henshaws tshirt, holding up a sign that says 'support.'

Tip 1: Have a routine

Imagine driving endlessly without a destination – this is what having a day with no structure can feel like! When you have no structure to your day it negatively effects your mental health as you have too much time on your hands to dwell on the bad.

Give your day purpose by having some routine, even if it’s just two or three things a day that you want to complete – get up at a similar time each day and have times in the day that you want to have something done by, for example going out in the garden with a coffee at 2pm, or listening to a couple of hours of an audio book before making dinner. Or maybe you’d like to start the day with an exercise routine – give this video a try for an audio described session designed to wake up the body!

It is also important to make your weekends feel different to your weekdays – have a lie in, have something special for dinner, or have something to look forward to in the evening.

Tip 2. Try and see the time as a gift

What did you want to do before lockdown but could never get around to?

See this time as a gift as we are indoors being kept safe, not because we are being punished.  Get planning for things you’d like to do when this is over – take up a new hobby for example.

Tip 3: Keep in touch

This time can feel lonely for us all, but more so if you are out of touch from family and friends.

Communicate with those you may have lost touch with over the years – at least we all have something in common that we can chat about since we are all going through the same pandemic!

Try and think of creative ways to socialise – such as quiz nights over the phone with family/friends.

Tip 4: Keep positive

Be grateful for the things in your life that others are not fortunate enough to have.

Keep your mindset positive and think about things that you can do, and not things that you can’t.

Tip 5: Practice breathing techniques (or even do some yoga)

Practice breathing techniques to keep you calm and bring you peace.

Try and take an hour out of every day to practice some mindfulness. Shut everything else out around you and play some relaxing music and then sit with your eyes closed and take deep breaths in and out.

If you’d like to give yoga a try, watch this audio described yoga for beginners video that was made by our volunteer Elli, who runs the usual weekly yoga class in Stretford.

Tip 6: Take care of yourself

This could possibly be the most important of them all – do some exercise and eat as healthily as possible. A healthy body equals a healthy mind.

Enjoy yourself at the weekends by having a glass of wine, if that’s what you enjoy. It’s all about balance.

Our staff are still available to talk to over the telephone, and even by video call in some cases, if you need to discuss any problems or mental health issues that you are experiencing at this challenging time.  We also have a specially trained sight loss counsellor, who offers 6 week courses over the telephone.  Please give us a ring on 0300 222 5555 or drop us an email to info@henshaws.org.uk to find out more.

If you found this blog interesting, why not check these blogs out too:

A counsellor’s guide to the stages of grief associated with sight loss

Mindfulness for children with a visual impairment or additional support needs

Looking after your mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Sarah
Sarah
Sarah is the Marketing Manager with responsibility for Community Services across Greater Manchester, and the Knowledge Village.
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