After twelve months of this new Covid world which has seen all of us challenged in so many areas of our life it’s more important than ever to find new coping skills. 

Even us as a qualified and practicing therapist I am not immune to life-shocks and lockdown fatigue. We’ve never had a time like this in our lives ever to be so cut off from others.  Like everyone, I’ve felt challenged and I’ve learned how to cope with these challenges in a more positive manner and also applied the principles of my training. And let’s be honest here we ALL have occasional ‘off’ days, and that’s normal.  

It’s really important for our mental and emotional wellbeing to have a regular routine, enough sleep, regular exercise, a healthy diet full of vegetables and fruit and to engage in what we might label valued and/or meaningful activities. 

Valued activities are individual to everyone and I’m going to explain how easy it is to do this, and how you can apply this to help everyone in your family to help them, at any age. 

I’m going to ask you to think carefully:

Now after you’ve had a good think about these three categories, I’d like you to write three lists putting in as many things that came to mind as described above:

  • about what you can still do, right now, even in lockdown that you enjoy and it gives you pleasure. This might be gardening, reading , a sunset walk, a new streamed movie, jigsaws, yoga, playing a computer came, doing a crossword, or playing the piano. 
  • about what gives you a sense of achievement, it might be trying something new, reading a book, walking five miles, tidying a cupboard, or volunteering.
  • to think of something which gives you a sense of connection to friends and loved ones. We are all missing closeness, and it’s especially hard for those who live alone. This could be a regular  phone or video call, meeting a friend outside for a walk, an online quiz or watching a movie at the same time online and discussing it after.   
  1. Pleasure and Enjoyment

2. Achievement

3. Connections 

Try and be really creative, after twelve months of this, many once treasured activities have lost their appeal so it’s maybe time to think of new ideas and challenges to bring back your smile and a sense of purpose. Can you learn something new? 

Once you’ve done your lists and are happy with them simply choose one thing every day from each list and include these into your daily activities. 

My own list for today is to try out a new recipe I found online, to finish  assembling all the receipts for the hated end of year accounts, and tonight, after work, to connect online with my fellow St John’s Ambulance Volunteers in a Teams Meeting. 

At the weekend I’m going to plan out a new walking route, choose a new film to watch, catch up with an old friend on zoom, and share some baking by leaving a surprise on a friend’s doorstep. 

Please share your lists below, it may inspire others to be more creative. 

More emotional wellness tips coming soon in future blogs and if you’d like some individual help please do get in touch.