Our psychologist, Carly O’Sullivan, shares some tips below for reducing the impact of stress and uncertainty during lockdown.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed by the current lockdown, you are not alone. Stress is a normal and understandable response to our changing world. It’s important to take care of yourself through this time.

1. Create a routine that focuses on what is within your control.

When so much of our current circumstances are outside of our personal control, focus your efforts on what you can do. In your daily routine, consider including:

  • One activity that gives you a sense of achievement. Examples might include cleaning or organising a section of your home, cooking a new recipe, or sending that email you’ve been putting off.
  • One activity that gives you joy. Examples include reading, making art, playing games, watching a movie, or listening to your favourite album.
  • Exercise. Moving your body and getting your heart pumping has a number of great benefits for both physical and mental health. Exercise if great for stress relief. It can also boost your mood and increase your concentration abilities. 10 minutes of exercise is better than none! 30-60 minutes a day is even better.
  • Time outside for fresh air and sun.
  • Opportunities for safe social connection. This might mean a socially distanced walk, a phone call with a relative, or a virtual games night with friends.

2. Prioritise sleep and nutrition where possible.

3. Acceptance and self-compassion

It’s okay if you’re feeling less productive than normal right now.

4. Limit consumption of news/social media that has a negative impact on you

  • As humans, we have a bias towards negative information. This is because we have a built in desire to search for threats in our environment, in order to keep ourselves safe.
  • At the moment, many of us may be consuming more news than usual to try and gain a sense of control and security.
  • However, this means we are inadvertently exposing ourselves to more and more negativity.
  • Setting limits around how much news we consume may help with this.

5. Prioritise work/life balance and set firm boundaries around work

  • If you are working from home, boundaries between work and leisure can be easily blurred.
  • Consider include a transition activity at the beginning and end of your workday the tells your brain when to switch into ‘work mode’ and ‘home mode’. Transition activities might include exercise, meditation, or showering.

6. Limit consumption of alcohol and other drugs.

Would you like some extra support during lockdown? Reach out to our team today to discuss booking in with a psychologist and prioritising your wellbeing during this challenging time.