Getting through lockdown has been hard on all of us.
Whether you have a family to look after, roommates to escape from, or you just have yourself for company, we’ve all had responsibilities to juggle with our own individual struggles. This virus and the necessary reaction to it has been hard to process, but there is an eventual end in sight.
For these remaining few weeks and months you need to keep yourself at the top of your game mentally, ready to return to work, be there for your loved ones, and enjoy life again. Here are our tips.
Sometimes achieving a mentally strong mindset means challenging yourself to have one.
We don’t mean you should be hard on yourself. As bad as you may feel and as much as you may think you’re lagging behind under lockdown you should never punish yourself. That attitude will only compound your negative feelings and send you down a darker path.
Instead, you should look for little ways to challenge yourself every day. This can be related to your work, something more physical or as simple as practicing a skill for an hour a week. The size of the challenge doesn’t matter, it’s about what it means to you and where it pushes you. If you just want to see if you can go a day without checking social media that’s a healthy enough challenge.
Games are a fantastic way to challenge yourself too. Get together with people in your household and try classic games like chess. You can gamify household chores with rewards to make them more interesting. Even classic online casino games like the kind reviewed by Online Casinos can keep your mind sharp with their focus on strategy and juggling multiple scenarios.
Regular, robust conversation is one of the best ways to keep your brain sharp and focused in even the hardest times.
Think back to old castaway and prison movies. What do the characters do while they wait for rescue or escape? They sit and they talk. It keeps your mind fresh and stops you drifting away inside yourself.
A lot of us may spend a good portion of the day on social media or texting, but do we ever test our brains with genuine conversation? A real conversation, whether over the phone or by video call, demands brain stimulation, and makes you consider answers to hard questions.
Stimulation from interacting with real people, hearing their voices, and seeing their faces (even through a screen) is essential for keeping yourself mentally sharp. Lockdown may be keeping us apart, but it’s important to find a way to re-create that sense of conversation and connection.
Explore old passions
Sometimes, the best way to move forward is to delve into the past a little.
Staying on top of your game requires testing yourself. Everyone is looking for new hobbies and tasks to help pass the time right now, so why not think back to what you used to love and pick up that old hobby you gave up on or just didn’t have time for anymore.
If you’re furloughed you have the time on your hand and even if you’re not you can’t go to the pub or play a game of football at the weekend. Pick up that old guitar, get that sketchbook out or dust off those old garden gloves and let your creativity flourish. You may create something you can come back to in order to remind yourself of how you survive this weird period of time or make your lockdown living space that little more bearable.
Don’t neglect your body
A healthy body equals a healthy mind.
If you want to keep on top of your game it helps to keep your workout routine and diet in check.
We know all too well how tempting it’s been under lockdown to indulge ourselves in breaks from our usual fitness plan and days spent on the couch gorging on snacks. However, this isn’t a healthy way to live generally and it’s certainly not healthy under the stressful conditions of lockdown. In the long run, you’re only doing damage to your body and mind.
It’s hard to go all out without all of your usual gym equipment, but you can still practice yoga, follow YouTube fitness guides, and try running around your local area. Even a little bit of exercise can give your body feeling more alive and give you the time and space to clear your head.
Don’t be afraid to plan for the future.
Lockdown may feel never-ending and no one is sure what an exit will look like, but it’s important for your own mental health to try and envision your own future. Giving yourself something to look forward to is vital when things seem bleak.
You don’t have to start mapping out that dream road trip or make plans to change your career. It can be something as small as deciding to meet a friend for coffee. It’s not about the mental activity of planning a grand adventure, more something you can keep in the back of your mind to snap you back when you lose that sharpness.
Staying on top of your game when you don’t have the energy, confidence, and assurance that everyday life gives you is extremely difficult. We’re communal beings with powerful brains that can lie to us. Follow these tips to keep those lies at bay and retain mental sharpness.