5 small but powerful ways to ease anxiety during the coronavirus lockdown
Feeling anxious? We're there with you.
With the endless torrent of doomsday pandemic broadcasting, the mental health of thousands deteriorating and the financial uncertainty that many are facing right now - so many of us are doing our best simply trying to cope.
Whether you're directly affected by these issues or just feeling some second hand anxiety about it all - we've compiled a small and manageable list of activities to give you back some control over your new life in lockdown.
1. Turn off the TV.
I'm serious, you may have seen this tip before but I'll bet many of us are still tuning in hoping to hear a concise update of what we need to know only to be bombarded by a 'highlight reel' of all of the worst things going on in the world right now.
If you feel comfort and security in knowledge, set a specific time in the day to read the news online without the sensationalism of TV journalism. Once you have read your daily update, turn your attention away and try not to revisit throughout the day.
2. Don't zoom/whatsapp/video call if you're not feeling up to it.
Seriously, it's okay to say no. After seeing so many prompts encouraging us to check in on our friends and family or join endless zoom quizzes we're here to give you the green light - if you're not feeling up to it, it is perfectly reasonable to say no.
It is absolutely okay to want to prioritise your mental energy and set some boundaries if you need to be alone. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to do this.
3. Move in ways that feel good.
And FYI we don't exclusively mean grueling HIIT classes, unless that's what you're into!
Getting out for a walk with your beloved pet (who has absolutely no clue of the turmoil that is going on) can be such a peaceful alternative to sitting indoors ruminating about the worst things that could happen.
The key word here is ‘joyful’ so there really are no rules to what this can look like - find a dance move to master, try some 5 minute yoga on youtube or even do what Puvan has done and buy some rollerblades to live out your primary school summer holiday dreams.
4. Create a safe space.
This really is a no brainer, our homes no matter how big or small are places to nest and take shelter from the world.
This ‘nesting’ feeling can be achieved on a smaller scale by carving out a nook in your home to retire to. You want this to ideally be somewhere different to where you normally work or exercise but a small corner big enough to fit an armchair, your favourite candle and some books or activities that help soothe the day away.
We encourage you to find objects that you already have at home for this - photographs, drawings and small tokens to decorate your space can really add that ‘sacred’ feeling.
5. Set a bedtime ritual.
Being at home for days and days on end with ever changing bedtimes can play havoc on your sleep schedule - after a long day of ups and downs, racing thoughts and a lack of sleep can leave you feeling tightly wound and on edge.
When you work out, it’s common knowledge that a cool down is a must for bringing you back to your resting state - right?
This should also be true for sleep. Think of it as an hour dedicated to powering down your body and brain.
We recommend lowering the lights - lighting a candle to mark the beginning of your ritual, banishing your phone to it’s charging station and doing a non stimulating activity such as reading or journaling.
Whilst the above tips can help ease the stresses, we realise that the problems that we are experiencing are complex and can’t be solved with a one size fits all solution so we hope that if it serves you, you will take some of these tips to practice and any that you feel don’t - you are welcome to leave.
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