Updated: Aug 5, 2020
With all the uncertainty affecting each and everyone in some shape and form over the last several months and as the country gradually transitions out of lockdown to some sense of a ‘new’ normal, it’s important to ensure you continue to maintain your wellbeing. Here are six essential psychological wellbeing tips recommended by Principal Psychologist, Simi Rayat from Wellbeing Face.
1. Focus on what you have control over
It is important to ensure where possible you focus your energy and thoughts on areas of your life that you have an element of control over the decisions you make. Whether this is deciding how often you go out or whom you catch up with, or your decisions about work and school etc. Whilst your decisions are likely to be influenced by external factors, by taking a balanced, factual and rationale approach, you can decide what is best for you to do in each situation. By making such decisions, you will shift your focus and energy onto owning your decisions and feeling a sense of liberation, freedom and inner calm, which will reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
2. Continue with things that energised you
Many of you will have found certain activities, connections, exercise, hobbies, work, leisure activities or adapted routines that have helped you to get through this time. You will have felt energised, lighter, happier and empowered when you would have been investing your time in these things. Others around you would have also probably noticed a lift in your mood, actions and demeanour, so you could ask those you live with what things they noticed about you. Identify what has really helped you and what you have enjoyed, as these are the things that where possible would be good for you to continue with going forward, even if perhaps in a slightly different way.
3. Be aware of your mental filter
Our ‘mental filter’ is the lens we use when we look at our situation, ourselves and others. It can be easy to apply either a ‘negative’, ‘positive’ or ‘balanced’ filter on the way we see things. Our mental filters are extremely powerful and whichever filter we decide to use, can impact how we feel and remember things. Now is a good time to keep tabs on which mental filter you are seeing your situation through, and if you are not liking what you see and feel, try changing your filter by applying a different lens. Just as a photo can change depending on the frame in which it is placed within, the same holds true for our outlook too. Take control of your outlook by ensuring you choose the mental filter which will help you feel the best you can.
4. Time to self-reflect and identify learnings
Many of you will have experienced emotional highs, lows and times of indifference during these months, even several times in a day. Whilst for some, life has been the busiest ever with managing work, children and home-schooling all at once, and for others it’s been a time of quiet, slower pace etc, there is still much to be learnt about how you feel you have experienced the lockdown. Take some time to think about what you have learnt about yourself during this time, how you feel you responded to the changed demands on you, the change in pace or focus of your time and attention. Having this insight is really helpful to deepen the learning you have about yourself. This insight can help you to identify what characteristics you recognise as strengths for you, and those that you feel you want to strengthen further. It will help you transition to the ‘new’ normal in a way which allows you to be clear on the things you would like to ‘stop’, ‘start’ and ‘continue’ doing or feeling based on what you have experienced of yourself during these months.
5. Take time to pause and breathe
We often neglect to consciously pause, breathe and take stock of how we are feeling, especially as pace of life starts to change again. It can be easy to keep going, pushing through each day, without allowing yourself a few moments to stop and digest how you are feeling or what your mind is pondering. Whatever part of the day allows you to have at least five to ten minutes of stillness, quiet and peace, plan that time into your schedule and when it is there, grab the opportunity with both hands and use the time to focus on your breathing. The key to consciously or mindfully breathing is to allow your body to feel each breadth as it enters and leaves your body. Practicing mindful breathing each day is proven to increase wellbeing and vitality, so it’s definitely worth giving your body and mind this time.
6. Capture your thoughts daily
We have thousands and thousands of thoughts trailing through our minds each day, some of which are the same, whilst others are new. By getting into a daily habit at the end of each day to capture key thoughts that have been passing through your mind that day will help you to decide which thoughts you would like to keep and those which are unhelpful or a waste of energy for you. Keep a journal close by to you or capture your thoughts on your phone as this will make it easier for you to remember to do this each day. Having this insight is really helpful, as it gives you the control to choose what you want to focus your energy and thoughts on.
Wishing you the best Wellbeing.
Lovely opportunity for this article to be shared by Hays https://social.hays.com/2020/08/03/six-wellbeing-tips-help-out-of-lockdown/