Surviving & Triumphing the 2021 Winter Lockdown
Unfortunately, we’re at that point again where lockdowns are happening worldwide to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Navigating around a pandemic is hard enough, and having to do it within the confines of your home during a winter lockdown can be even harder. In fact, it’s caused stress levels to double for many people.
Whether you’re a business owner or not, all people are vulnerable to the mental health impact of this virus. As you’ve heard a thousand times before, it’s unprecedented. It can and will be detrimental to your well being if not dealt with properly.
There’s changes the team and I at Bookmark have made to our lifestyles, both big and small, that we think have been very helpful. We’d love to share our experience to help you maintain a positive and healthy mindset on what could be a tough upcoming season.
Taking Care Of Mental And Physical Health
Lay Off The Social Media And News
Social media is literally designed to capture and hold our attention. The best way to capture attention is by targeting humans’ most primal emotions – joy, fear, and anger. The latter two have been so abundant the last few years and social media companies have capitalized on it to keep users on their sites.
This kind of content can obviously take a toll on someone’s mental health, especially when they’re bombarded with it all hours of the day during a winter lockdown. The best way to avoid it is shutting it off. We’re not recommending you delete all your social media accounts. Maybe try deleting the apps from your phone so you’re not spending as much time there.
The same goes for news. It functions in an economy of attention, so they’re going to highlight the most controversial stories happening. If you’re having a hard time avoiding the news because the news finds you, try using a Google extension tool like De-Mainstream YouTube. This extension allows you to block selected news networks in your YouTube search.
Sleeping & Eating
Sleeping and eating are both so important to your mental and physical health, especially during a winter lockdown. However, like most things, sleeping and eating need to be balanced. Too much sleep or too much food can be just as detrimental as too little.
When it comes to sleep, aim to get 8 hours a night. Most importantly, make sure you are getting up at the same time every day. Your body will get into a natural circadian rhythm that will help you sleep consistently. It can be dark in the morning during the winter, so consider getting an artificial sunrise alarm clock.
Food determines how you feel. That old adage of “you are what you eat” isn’t entirely false. Obviously you’re not going to turn into a Pop-Tart, but if you eat bad food you will feel bad. Try your best to minimize ordering in and eating junk. A lockdown might be the best opportunity to work on your cooking skills, so take advantage of the moment!
Exercise Your Body And Mind
It’s really easy to fall into bad habits during a lockdown, but it’s also a great opportunity to develop healthier habits. Exercise should not be neglected. If you’re new to it, start small. 30 minutes a day 3 days a week is a good goal, even if it’s as simple as going for a walk. Eventually your body will crave the exercise.
Exercise doesn’t only refer to physical. Training your mind is equally important. Consider trying something new like learning a language or mental puzzles. Meditation is also a great way to train your mind and be happy in any situation. Some great meditation apps to consider are Waking Up, HeadSpace, and Calm.
For The Creative Mind
Set Goals And Don’t Be Your Hardest Critic
If you’re not performing as well as you typically do, both personally or professionally, don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s a really tough time, and it’s taking its toll on literally everyone. This problem isn’t unique to you. So instead of getting down on yourself, set some goals in areas that you’d like to improve. You’ll feel great when you hit them.
Stop The Streaming
Constantly sitting down in front of the TV can put you in a creative rut. The same behaviour repeated night after night can put people in a zone that lacks inspiration. Try doing different things every evening to mix it up and the ideas will start flowing again.
Less Screen More Paper
Odds are you are sitting in front of a screen for at least 8 hours a day during the work day. Try to move away from the screen during times when you’re not required to be there. Sketching, colouring, or writing creatively can be a much needed reprieve.
For the Business Owner
Plan. Plan. Plan. Oh, and Plan
No matter what, don’t over-stress about the ifs ands or buts. What has happened has happened. You can’t change the past. Take the time now to instead plan for the future. The world has changed and you need to change your business with it. Be pragmatic and diligent with the changes.
Prepare For Continued Working From Home
Working from home is going to continue well into 2021. In fact, it might be here to stay in a lot of sectors as businesses can cut down on expenses like real estate. Improving infrastructure and the way you manage your work from home employees can help. Consider things like setting precise deadlines, enforcing regular working hours, encouraging work breaks and encouraging teamwork.
Be There For Your Employees
You should be there in any and every way for your team. You’re the leader of your business, and the backbone of the team that works with you. So it’s really important that you are there for them, especially during a winter lockdown. This can be a lot of pressure, so it’s equally important that you have your own strong support group for when you need it.
Although the following lockdowns are going to be tough, they’re a great opportunity for some self improvement. Remember, taking care of your body and mind are equally important and detrimental for your well being during these times.
One final tip: talk to your friends and family, and stay connected with your loved ones. It goes without saying but we still must stress the fact that a close support group is so helpful in getting through this winter lockdown, and pandemic as a whole. Please feel free to reach out with any questions about business or if you just want to chat about the times we’re going through. We’re here for you.
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