The world has changed a lot in just a few weeks, hasn’t it? Only weeks ago it seemed like most people were still commuting to office, still stopping off at the local pub, still hanging out with friends and taking trips. Now, suddenly, we all find ourselves isolated at home, many having lost jobs and income in the process.
While the UK government seems to do a fair job of offering monetary support to those who are currently unemployed, one of the toughest parts of not having a job can be emotional. Trust me, I know. Much of my (Katie) work is dependent on people traveling, being able to travel myself, or simply having access to a local post office—a current no-no.
So what do you do when the daily purpose of a job is suddenly taken away? Here are a few tips on how to prevent that feeling of aimlessness when you’re at home all day.
Exercising during quarantine doesn’t actually translate to doing home yoga in your flat. Yes, there are some pretty severe restrictions on daily life right now, but one of the allowances given by Boris Johnson is that locals can leave their flats once a day to exercise—be that going for a walk, a jog, or riding a bicycle. Just be mindful of staying far away from others, get out earlier rather than later, and don’t touch anything while on your walk or run. Also remember to keep an ID with you in case you get stopped by police, and never go out with more than one other person (groups of more than two are not allowed).
That being said, here are two of our favorite free yoga and Pilates workout channels if you’d rather stay inside (or really hate running)!
Yoga With Adriene: We love this channel because there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner, looking for ways to ease/manage anxiety, or if you’d like a longer, more strenuous yoga workout. An added bonus is the adorable pup that makes the occasional appearance in the videos!
PsycheTruth: This channel offers a huge variety of yoga and Pilates workouts. Our current favorite is this short 20-minute Pilates workout which really targets your entire body and we guarantee will leave your muscles burning!
2. Don’t stay in bed
Depression and anxiety are definitely spiking right now and not having a job to wake up to can be detrimental to mental health. If you’re feeling aimless even getting out bed can seem like a monumental task. The thing is, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you’re unable to go outside for a walk and all you feel capable of today is curling up in your comforter. That’s fine. But try to take on the small challenge of moving from your bed to your couch. Hey, you can even take your comforter with you. But as long as you do this one small movement every day, you’re doing something good for yourself while also keeping your bed as a sleep-only space.
It might feel like your life is completely lacking in structure right now, which is understandable, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some sort of schedule. Aim to exercise every day at the same time, eat your meals on a schedule, and make your small move out of bed and to the sofa within a certain time frame. In fact, setting an alarm to get you up at the same time every morning is a great way to instill a little structure in your life and put some control back in your hands.
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but daily meditation is an excellent way to unearth positive feelings and give yourself a sense of purpose. We tend to complain about how busy our lives are and how hard it is to fit in things like meditation, but now that you do have the time why not give your mental health a little at-home TLC. Headspace is an amazing meditation app that has a lot of free options, or you can pay for a subscription if you’d like access to more meditations. It’s our go-to meditation app and we’re definitely using it a lot these days!
5. Have fun
I know, I know, it’s easier said than done, but this is really a case of ‘make the most of a bad situation’. Remember that you’re not alone in this, thousands of people are going through similar circumstances and we all need to find creative ways to still enjoy life while in quarantine. Stay connected with friends and family and schedule fun virtual activities to do every week. You can do live yoga classes together and discuss them after, do stay-at-home quiz nights via video chat, or plan karaoke nights where you take requests from friends and vice-versa (like we did last Friday night on Instagram)! This will not only help you, and others, stay connected, but it’ll give you something to look forward to every week too.
6. Shift your focus
A great way to instill a sense of purpose is by reaching out to help others. Crises like the one we’re experiencing are the most harmful to vulnerable communities, and local organizations need our help more than ever. Donations to food banks are especially vital at the moment as they have seen an increase in need while food sources have depleted at the same time (a good reason not to panic buy). That’s not the only way you can help though, many organizations, like the Kath Duncan Equality and Civil Rights Network have set up WhatsApp groups in various boroughs and need people to volunteer time for tasks like chatting on the phone with others in isolation, walking dogs, or doing deliveries to people in need.
7. Talk to a counsellor
There are a lot of strong emotions floating around right now, and it’s completely valid to feel overwhelmed, afraid, or anxious. These are natural reactions given the uncertainty we’re facing and how quickly things seem to have escalated. If it’s affordable to you, check out online counseling through sites like BetterHelp. A counsellor can help you talk through your emotions and find healthy ways to approach quarantine life.
What are some of the ways you’re coping with staying at home? Share your tips with us below!