Top Tips for surviving this second lockdown!
Updated: Feb 11, 2021
This time lockdown feels different, but why are we feeling it and what should we be doing to conquer these feelings? Well, I think the main difference is that by now most of us have been affected either directly or indirectly by the dreaded C word. But this time we are in Winter, a time for hybernation and a time for contemplation. Many of us don't usually stop to do either of these and so it feels completely unatural to stop, stay still and concentrate on ourselves inwardly. So stress levels are rising- work, home, home-schooling and general cabin fever.
What can we do to make us feel a bit better?
1. So my first tip is to find things that makes you laugh- on a daily basis! This is because laughing increases our endorphin production (those feel good hormones). Endorphins have been shown to reduce cell inflammation and increase our white blood cell production! Boom! A win win- we feel good and our immunity is boosted! Get on to iplayer, follow comedians on facebook or instagram, watch you tube clips- they are all accessible and all free.
2. Walk in nature and hug a few trees! It has been shown in studies that walking in nature helps reset our body. This goes back thousands of years to how we once lived and our bodies still remember it and yearn for it. In Japan, they actually have "forest bathing" where people just walk, sit and lie in the forest absorbing the colours, the sound and whole vibration. If that sounds a bit out there, there is a good explanation as to why we feel comfortable and want to hug trees. Everything, I mean everything, vibrates- its physics. And we vibrate at between 3-17 Hz depending on how happy we are. And the trees? Well they have a very similar vibration to us- except they don't have any of the anxiety and rushing around etc that we do, so being around them makes us feel relaxed and comfortable.
3. You gotta"Fake it to make it". When we smile our facial nerves send a message to the Vagus Nerve which switches our body into the parasympathetic state- HUH?? this means when we smile (or fake smile) the nerves in our face communicate with our brain to switch into a relaxed and resting state because its saying "I'm happy"- instead of being in the fight or flight mode (full of adrenaline). There are lots of studies out there showing that even when we are doing something we don't enjoy if we smile (even a fake one) it keeps us in this relaxed state. My favourite study was when they got students to clean dirty bathrooms. Some of the students had to just clean, others had to do it with a pencil in their mouths (thus inducing a pretend smile) and the third group had to smile whilst they cleaned. The students who smiled or had a pencil smile had better blood pressures and found the experience much less disgusting and stressful than those who didn't smile. When I was nursing there were many sad or gross things we had to deal with, but I smiled throughout (either to protect the patients' dignity or just because it was plain disgusting) and I never ever felt down and never stopped loving what I was doing.
4. Buy yourself an essential oil diffuser- there are so many amazing oils that help lift your vibration- the citrus oils (orange oil, neroli, lime mmmm!) are great for anxiety and depression and smell so good, but there are lots of others too which help lift our moods and reduce anxiety (Bergamot and Ylang Ylang are two of my favourites). I use them for myself and my clients daily. Just be aware that some aren't so good for our furry four legged friends, so just check that they are tolerated by them if you have pets.
5. Meditate.... I cannot stress how much meditation helps. If you say you haven't got time to meditate then you definitely need to!! If you don't know how, it really is quite simple. Sit down in a quiet space. Ensure your head and body are completely supported. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing, slowly and steadily. If your thoughts get in the way (which they will sometimes) that's normal, just acknowledge them and allow them to float away and go back to your breathing. There are so many guided mediation apps and video clips that are free which I highly recommend- you will find your groove when you come across someone you enjoy listening to. I run one-to-one and guided meditation sessions but I also do a weekly meditation and sound bathing on my Instagram live so do join me!
There are more, many more tips- if you enjoyed these then do follow me on Instagram where I shall continue to post things too.