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5 tips to improving your well-being during lock down

“For fast acting relief try slowing down” — Lilly Tomlin

1. Slow Down

Get comfortable, Silence your mind and take 3 deep breaths –

So if after taking 3 breaths you notice any anxiety, knot or discomfort in your body then it might be a sign that it’s time for you to slow down and to check in with your body. If you find that you are more busy since being told to work from home and feeling a sense of stress, again it might be a sign you need to slow down. I have added an exercise at the end of this blog that you can try, even if its finding a mindfulness exercise that works for you, what’s important is that you notice what is happening in your body throughout the day. it’s become harder to distract during this time and all the energy that might have been stored and unnoticed for the longest time might be trying to arise now.

WARNING; Mastering the skill of slowing down can result in: Greater clarity of what your needs are. Increased sense of inner peace. Motivation. Productivity. Greater control of your life!

Mindfulness is a skill and requires practice even if you practice once a day to start. Let me know if this has changed anything for you or if I can suggest any other techniques but check out the exercise at the bottom of the page.

“Research suggests that the initial steps to becoming happier can be implemented straight away” — The How of Hapiness – Sonja Lyubomirsky

2. Connecting and Disconnecting

Connect

Because we are social creatures it’s a fundamental need for us to connect. This could be with friends, family, neighbors, or work colleagues. In addition you may also need to connect with your self, nature or whatever religious beliefs you may hold. Research suggests that a lack of connection is one of, if not the root of addictions, eating disorders and a range of mental disorders.

Right now there are a range of ways people can connect during a pandemic using your phone, tablet or computer. With the power of social media you could join others for an online ‘pub’ quiz or join people for a morning meditation or exercise session all delivered via Youtube, Zoom, Facebook to name a few – If anyone knows of great way to socialise drop a comment at the bottom

Disconnect

From whatever you find toxic in your life at the moment. If you are feeling overwhelmed by what is going on in the world then retreat! If you have news pages on your Facebook, snooze them for a while and come back. The world is full with so many issues that would trigger anxiety, you deserve to give yourself some space and attend to your own needs for a while. I understand that disconnecting from something toxic in your life might be difficult if it involves your relationship – please get in touch if you are in need to support, I would be more that happy to be of support to you.

“If you find the news severely exacerbates your state of mind, the thing to do is SWITCH IT OFF. Don’t let terror into your mind –– Notes on a Nervous Plant — Matt Haig

3. Exercise

I know its practically cliche the fact that I am mentioning exercise so i’m going to highlight some facts that may not be too common and important to consider! taken from (https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm)

  • Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.
  • Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections.
  • The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better. (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever.)
  • Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Some stress increases the chance of illness. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness.

4. Structure your day

There are many strategies in order to help you manage your day in a meaningful and productive way. There are a variety of YouTubers that have dedicated their time in educating others in how this can be done from the likes of Matt D’Avella, Thomas Frank and Ali Abdaal I have posted links to their pages if you want to check them out:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Sepharoth64/featured

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG-KntY7aVnIGXYEBQvmBAQ

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ24N4O0bP7LGLBDvye7oCA

Remember that in order to structure your day and take control its about slowing down and introducing things that you want to do bit at a time, if you think too big you’re much more likely to be gripped by fear.

5. Be Kind to yourself

I’m a firm believer that all of us are individual and unique and the tips I’ve presented are all activities that can support you in finding what works best for you. I could have said read a book, go jogging, do yoga everyday, record in a journal every night, as much as I think trying these things might actually improve your life I think its more important that you allow yourself to try, to fail, to forgive and to carry on if not try harder.

You might feel as though you want to beat yourself up during this time thinking that you should be more productive and if being productive makes you happy then keep going but if its adding stress then you deserve better, you deserve this time to slow down. Be mindful of when you use ‘shoulds’ in your sentences about yourself, are you talking about something that you want or need or are you speaking from what you think people expect of you.

Short exercise (from tip 1): If you are very much aware of that sense of anxiety in your body then here is a way you can tune in.

Imagine that you are directing your breath to the place where you feel that emotional charge in your body (if it helps place a hand over the area). Examine this sensation with your breath, without judgement or critism. Try to sit with this feeling for at least 5 minutes, if you find your mind wandering off then this is completely normal, just gently guide yourself back to your breath.

After 5 minutes or if you feel you need a bit longer to explore, I want you to slowly say to yourself when you are ready – In the here and now, in this moment, I am safe, right now it’s ok to slow down. Perhaps try repeating this to yourself a few times or any other affirmative statements that you feel may help such as what’s happening in the world right now is not my fault, I need to let go of what I can’t control, think of something that this anxious part of you may need to hear from you.

Notice if this has changed the sensation at all, has it lessened, increased, made you want to charge into the next job? Whatever the case might be I want you to congratulate yourself that even for a little more than 5 minutes you allowed yourself to slow down. If you feel you would appreciate a full body scan you can locate a video on YouTube or use a number of mindfulness apps.

I hope some of these tips have been useful, please put down your top tips below and feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss anything further. Stay home, Stay safe and take care 🙂

Comments on This Post
2
  1. Laura E

    Excellent tips Paul ,

    Thank you

    Laura

    Reply
    • Paul Agar

      Thanks Laura – Hope you’re doing well – P

      Reply

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