A guide on de-stressing and staying in control during this lockdown.
Today marks the first day of lockdown 2.0 in the UK.
Restaurants were buzzing last night in Hinckley as people squeezed in their last meals out, and by 9.59pm, scattered socially distanced crowds were making their way back to their cars and homes.
After pleasant nights out yesterday, waking up this morning in the second round of national lockdown will have been stressful for those in positions of uncertainty in their jobs, those having to face awkward conversations about child care with ex partners, those knowing they may not see the most important people in their lives for another month, those concerned about the wellbeing of their relatives, those worried about the impact on their romantic relationships, and many other uncomfortable situations.
There may be little control that can be had in many of these circumstances, but Nuffield Health yesterday - on National Stress Awareness Day - released a guide on how to remain in control of at least one thing during this time: our mental fitness.
The guide said: "We all came into this storm with unique ‘stress signatures’ – our own ideas about how best to navigate the choppy waters.
"...If we create coping strategies, and improve existing ones, we can ease our stress and build resilience against potential stressors as we head into a second lockdown this winter.
"Let’s embrace stress awareness day by planning a mental fitness regime to help us to prepare for another lockdown – and encourage our friends, family, colleagues and community to do the same."
Nuffield Health has advised that the potential stressors associated with lockdown come now at a time when a lack of sunlight, shorter days and being cooped up inside already have "a known detrimental impact on mood and wellbeing.
Good sleep routine – both stress and the lack of sunlight can affect your sleep, so creating a good bedtime routine can help you sleep soundly
Walking/exercise – getting your body moving is a great way to shake off stress, and it can also help you sleep better at night – why not try our new digital fitness platform, Nuffield Health 24/7, with over 100 workouts on demand?
Eating well – stress can weaken your immune system, so make sure you look after your gut with plenty of immunity-boosting foods
Worry management – it’s easy to get into a cycle of worry when you’re stressed, so to combat this you can use a technique called ‘worry time’ – setting aside time to worry about it later so it doesn't interfere with your day
Regular contact with family and friends – checking in with loved ones over the phone and via video call, talking through any problems can decrease feelings of stress.
When we accepted last night that we would be going into hibernation for the next month, we also accepted the lack of control that comes with it.
Taking care of our mental fitness, however, is how we can remain in control of our situations for this next chapter of the year.