Returning Label volunteer writer Leah Langley reminds us of the little things that we can do in our endeavours to keep a healthy mindset and positive mental attitude amidst uncertain times and new normals.
It seems that the end may be in sight with lockdown slowly coming to an end. Whilst we may have all managed to get through the last year, these final months can sometimes feel like they are dragging because we are so near to reaching the end, and so it is vital that we do what we can to maintain a positive mental attitude.
For me, simple activities such as reading a book, watching a movie, colouring, or writing (all easy activities that could be undertaken in the home environment without needing too many resources), have been a saving grace. Research has suggested that engaging in such activities can increase calmness and reduce stress. I’ve also been utilising the nice weather we seem to be being blessed with at the moment, and I am loving exploring the nature in the local area. There are many local beauty spots that I have accidentally stumbled across which have become some of my favourite places. Another great thing about enjoying some outside time is the opportunity to invite friends along for a socially distanced walk. It can be nice to connect with people in a different setting to constantly communicating through a screen, and the fresh air is always good for boosting your mood. One of the things that I have been most grateful for is definitely having friends check in. It can seem impossible to type out a short text message, or arrange a FaceTime call, some days, but the benefits far outweigh the costs of doing this. It is hard to not feel alone in the current climate and not everyone has the luxury of being in a warm house filled with family and friends. A simple check-in can go a long way in making your friends feel supported, and you’ll probably find that it lifts your mood too.
One of the biggest learning curves of lockdown has definitely been learning to function away from social media. It can be so easy to get lost, scrolling for hours, on TikTok, or falling down a YouTube video rabbit hole, but taking breaks away from the screen has been hugely beneficial. When engaging in any type of activity, I have been sure to keep my phone out of sight so that I can fully focus on what I am doing at the time. It can be so easy to get lost in the virtual world, but screen fatigue is a real thing and just taking a few minutes away can really make a difference. One of the vital things that I have had to learn is that social media is definitely everyone’s ‘highlight reel.’ We are often bombarded with content of people achieving remarkable things and still having their lives together despite all of the chaos, and it’s sometimes hard to remember that it is okay to not have the ‘perfect life.’ At the end of the day, we are all surviving through an unknown time with lots of uncertainty and panic, and so just getting up each day can sometimes feel like the biggest success. Remember that no matter how hard it may seem, we’re all in this together and we will get through this. The end is (finally) in sight.
Header by Label Designer Annabel Smith