We hope you are all doing well at the moment. Coronavirus and the lockdown will have certainly caused a lot of worry for people, it’s the first time we’ve ever had to cope with something like this in our lifetime. Whether you are worried about job security, your health, other people’s health, money, upset about your plans being on hold, getting cabin fever from being indoors too much, there are plenty of reasons to feel worried or anxious at the moment. Coping with stress and anxiety is not easy, if you need professional help seek advice from the NHS and talk with to your GP.
If you need help relaxing or are struggling to find headspace at the moment, read our guide on lockdown relaxation below. Some of the ideas might seem obvious or simple, but sometimes it’s the simple things that help.
Meditation and Yoga
One of the most obvious stress busters is meditation. If you’ve not done it before, we understand why you might be sceptical about it, drop your scepticism and help clear your mind and put a stop to negative thoughts. There are plenty of apps out there for meditation but two of our favourites are Calm and Headspace. Both apps are free to download and have plenty of guided meditation content to get through. Headspace plus are also offering a year of free premium content if you have recently become unemployed.
Not only does meditation help you get to sleep, it also forces you to take a breather, focus on your body and clear your mind. If your thoughts are going at a thousand miles an hour at the moment, meditation will really help you to focus.
If you prefer a more physical approach to relaxation, why not try yoga? There are plenty of free online yoga classes you can access from your phone. One of our favourites is Yoga with Adriene, and with over 7 million subscribers it seems were not the only ones who love her classes. If you’ve found yourself with more time on your hands give Adriene’s ‘30 days of yoga’ a try and see how you feel afterwards, you might even discover a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try!
Create an ‘at-home’ spa experience
If you’re missing your payday facials, why not try and do it yourself? You don’t have to invest in expensive products to have a good experience. Superdrug have a whole range of really reasonably priced products that can help you enjoy an ‘at-home’ spa experience on a budget. One of our favourites is this Hot Cloth Face Cleanser that makes your face look radiant and feel very soft!
Skin care expert, Abigail James, has a great series of facial massages on YouTube which are not only extremely relaxing, they will also do wonders for your skin. Using a vegetable based oil, follow her steps in achieving a DIY facial and you’ll feel instantly relaxed. The best thing about them? They are free! If you are struggling to get to sleep, do one of Abigail’s facial massages before bedtime for the ultimate in relaxation. If you are not sure what oil to use on your face, invest in some Bio Oil. Not only does it last for ages, it smells great, is very moisturising and it really helps with uneven skin tone and scarring.
Make the most of the space you are in
This might seem like an obvious piece of advice, and you may have already done it, but try to make the space you’re in as nice as possible. According to Psychology Today, fresh flowers make you happy by triggering happy brain chemicals. You can read their article here if you don’t believe us! Fresh flowers help you connect with nature by bringing the outside in, plus it adds a splash of colour to your home and a beautiful floral scent (depending on the flower…)
Another way to make the most of your space is with artwork and candles. Etsy have an abundance of independent makers and artists on their website to help you make the most of the space you’re in. If you’re conscious of keeping an eye on money at the moment, stay up to date with your cleaning, changing your bed regularly and rearranging your furniture will help you feel better about the space you’re (always) in.
Escape into a book
Reading a book is the ultimate form of escapism. Books transport you to another world, replacing your thoughts with the words on a page. Unlike watching television, where it’s so easy to pick up your phone and lose concentration on what you’re watching, reading forces you to concentrate… especially if it’s a good story!
If you’re not sure what to read, download the Goodreads app. Tell the app what books you’ve enjoyed in the past and it’ll give you recommendations on what to read in the future. You can also connect with your friends on the app and see what they recommend reading.
Thanks to Boris’ relaxed guidelines, we are now allowed outside as much as we like. This can include a trip to the park, non-contact sport and meeting up with one other person from outside your household, as long as you stay more than 2m apart and stay outdoors.
For those of us without any outdoor space, this is the best news we’ve heard in months! Staying inside, with only one trip outside a day, was tough. Now that we’re allowed outside as much as possible, make the most of it! We’re even tempted to buy a Kayak from Decathlon and set sail down the river Irwell.
On a more serious note, being outside really does recharge you. Humans have an innate tendency to connect with nature and being outside helps you relax. The Japanese deem “forest bathing” as an essential part of their national health program. This doesn’t refer to literal bathing, but rather immersing yourself in nature. The concept dates back to 1982 and stems from Japanese Shinrin-Yoku Forest Therapy, with the goal to reintroduce people to the healing power of nature.
Being outside doesn’t just have a positive impact on your mental health, it also boosts your physical health. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body and mind.
Wherever you go outside, don’t forget to be mindful of other people and stay 2m apart.
We hope you enjoyed our guide, if you have any more ideas on how to relax please let us know on Twitter and we will include it.