Using Positive Daily Rituals to Combat Mental Fatigue in Lockdown
According to Mind Charity, over 60% of adults said their mental health worsened in the first lockdown this year. Looking forward feels bleak, to say the least, and many of us who thought this would be over by now are beginning to lose hope. Knowing this, it’s more important than ever that we find ways to manage our daily life and remain positive right now! But how can we combat mental fatigue in lockdown 2.0?
Having suffered my own mental health burnout in the first lockdown earlier this year, I moved towards integrating positive daily rituals into my schedule. These really help keep me grounded and allow me to feel comforted by repetitive routines that lift my mood. Read on to find out what I do. Perhaps there’s something here that can help you too.
6 Ways to Combat Mental Fatigue in Lockdown 2.0
Movement is a great way to get your serotonin levels up and therefore improve your concentration and energy levels throughout the day. Getting outside for a short walk will help you start your day with a sense of purpose and more vitality. Added to that, being outdoors and getting that dose of Vitamin D will really help keep your mood up in the darker winter months, too.
Writing your thoughts and feelings down on a daily basis is an effective way of keeping track of your moods and worries. Both our Positive Planner and Positive Wellness Journal use mood tracking and encouraging as much self-awareness as possible in these times is key to how we take the action we need. Gratitude lists are also a great way to start and finish the day and help us keep all the good stuff at the forefront of our minds.
Journaling really is the easiest thing to implement, all you need is a pen and some paper - or our Positive Free Writing Journal. If you’re new to journaling and are unsure where to start, take a look at my Writing for Wellbeing blog post here or this short IGTV video over on our Instagram page.
Meditation can really break the cycle. Taking time to breathe is a powerful way to stay grounded, process what’s happening and activate the rational side of the brain. A good old stretch is also a fantastic way to way to kickstart your day. Research in The Journal of Positive Psychology shows that just 15 minutes of mindfulness and meditation each day can have a hugely positive impact on the mind and body.
And what’s great is you can do breathwork anywhere! We suggest the 4,4,6 method. You do 4 rounds of breathing in for a count of 4, holding your breath for a count of 4 and then releasing for a count of 6.
You can read more about breathing exercises in our Breathing Techniques for Anxiety blog here.
Creativity will help you find escapism. It looks different for everyone, but it’s all about finding something that captures your imagination. Making time for a project that is a creative outlet for you can help you make sense of all the plates you’re spinning. Something repetitive or rhythmic will help your mind unwind and in turn release stress. Think of it as giving your head a hug. Whatever brings you back to the most authentic version of yourself is what you should be striving to make time for.
Human connection can make all the difference. Grab a cuppa and have a good old-fashioned phone chat with a trusted friend. It can be free, fairly uncomplicated and such a mood booster for you. Try and be open about your feelings, it’s good to voice your truth with people you feel safe with. We all crave being seen and heard which is why this is such an important thing to do for our wellbeing.
Hearing people coach us through these hard times not only reminds us that we are loved and valued but also allows us to gain another person’s perspective on the things that are whirring around in our minds. Don’t forget the powerful effect of endorphins, either. Laughing is a wonderful way to relieve stress.
#6 Self-Care Plan
Create your own self-care plan. It’s a sad truth that we will prioritise everyone else around us before ourselves. However, in order to function at our best, we really need to make time to rest, replenish and regain our energy. Think of it as protecting yourself from burnout! We like to think of self-care as damage prevention or self-preservation.
Write your self-care plan down and journal the positive effects they have on your sense of wellbeing. You could even use our Positive Week Desk Pad Planner to schedule in those moments so you don't forget!
Finn and I wrote a blog post about what’s in our Lockdown Self-Care Toolbox at the beginning of the first lockdown. You'll definitely find some tools to help you combat mental fatigue in lockdown in it.
These are all free and easy ways to keep healthy both physically and emotionally. They don’t require huge amounts of time, just the intention to do them consistently. In times like these, it really is going back to basics that help us manage our emotional wellbeing day by day. The simplest acts of kindness to our mind bodies and souls such as drinking plenty of water, eating well and getting outdoors will actually improve concentration and productivity in the long run.
I really hope these positive daily rituals help you combat mental fatigue in lockdown. If you’re looking for a little connection and support, our private Positive Planner Facebook Group is running a special November Self-Carer challenge for the whole of November - why not come and join us?
Much love and positive vibes to you all.
A version of this blog was first posted on Just Entrepreneurs. You can find it here.