Well friends, happy lockdown 2! England’s locking back down for another month, and with it comes more anxiety and worry than before. Or just a feeling of loss and being bored by it all. We’re currently four days in, and honestly I feel a lot and nothing at all at once. As a person who suffers from depression, self care is a massive part of my life, and so today I wanted to share with you my ever-changing self care list that you can use as lockdown self care ideas!
Now first, it’s worth saying that self care is different for everyone. It also comes down to severity for some people. For me, Bad mental health days leads my self care to be basic hygiene and remembering to take my meds. Good mental health days leads to bubble baths and creating something. So before we go into these lists — please understand that some of these may be a little more frivolous than what you need, and some may be more basic. It’ll change from person to person, but hopefully this will help give someone some lockdown self care ideas they need.
There’s things you need to do on a daily or weekly basis, those things that just have to be done. I struggle with these a lot on bad days, so having them on a list can often help motivate me to cross some off. You may not feel that a reminder to brush your teeth daily is necessary, but sometimes it’s hard AF to get out of bed and human. Lockdown self care ideas are no different to usual ones at times!
- Brush teeth
- Brush hair
- Have a shower or bath
- Get dressed
- Do some washing
- Tidy something
- Put away clothes
- Look after plants/ pets
- Eat some decent meals
- Daily skincare to combat that acne
- Change the bed sheets
If you’re one of those people that say that having a bubble bath isn’t self care, please have a look at yourself. Because for a lot of people — like myself — it’s a great all-in-one activity that hits a few different markers. Comfort, hygiene, pampering, resting and having a good old sing song are all things that help us in the long run. And sometimes it just feels good. Most of these pampering things can be DIYed, as well, so get crafty whilst you lather yourself in creams and scrubs!
- Bubble baths (top tip; buy a cheap, giant tub of Vitamin E or Aqueous cream and throw a handful in your bath to help soften your skin)
- Face masks (no, not the ones you wear to the shops)
- Manicure / Pedicure
- Luxurious skin care with sheet masks and serums
- Make a sugar scrub and scrub away your worries
We’re all home so often now that I don’t think the idea of comfort is a foreign one to any person on the planet now. But still, creature comforts are important to good and bad days. My go-to comfort is a nice cup of coffee or tea whilst under my weighted blanket and in pyjamas. And sometimes it’s a giant bowl of my now-staple ‘grown up mac and cheese’.
- Create a comfortable place in your house/room that feels safe
- Read your favourite book again
- Take time to listen to your favourite albums — or even just your favourite song on repeat
- Make use of blankets. Blankets are the best thing in the world, fact.
- Also, if you can afford one, buy a weighted blanket because they’re proven to help with anxiety. Also they’re just super comfy
- Eat something comforting and don’t think about the consequences such as calories or even washing up. Comfort food feeds your soul, regardless if it’s boxed mac and cheese or a whole tub of ice cream
- Have an at-home movie night with yourself. Watch something fun and even nonsensical, have a laugh, have a cry, whatever you need
- Play games. Even if it’s 8 hours of terraforming on Animal Crossing, or 8 hours of completing Dark Souls. All games are valid and provide comfort
Another thing that will change drastically for different people! Some people go to the gym, some don’t. But some form of activeness, whether big or small, is really useful for self care. Personally, due to my CFS, going for walks and doing low-impact exercise is best for me.
- Go for walks. Low or high impact, having a reason to even just have a wander is great. I’m planning on using Pokemon Go again, simply as an excuse to move about
- Yoga / Pilates. For me, yoga is about stretching out my body and using it to combat CFS aches, and there’s so many free resources. I use an app called Yoga that lets me choose my own poses, which is helpful when you know what your body can and cannot do
- Exercise and workouts. Again, any impact is good, even if you’re just lifting cans of beans!
- I don’t know guys, I don’t exercise that much!
It can feel a bit odd to say whilst most of us are furloughed or home working. We’re all resting constantly, right? Nah, son. Whether it’s resting your brain or your body, rest is incredibly important in down-times too. I’ve mentioned having CFS a few times, and have learned about the boom and bust cycles because of it. And frankly, we can all learn from working too hard on any one thing (or many things at once, in my case) and resting well.
- Have a lie in every now and then. Hell, have one every other day if you need it!
- Go to bed early
- Naps. Naps are good. If you’re not home working at the time, treat yo self.
- Pace yourself. I need to learn this one myself, but pacing is really useful when you’ve got a tendency to do ALL THE THINGS at once.
- Actually rest when you’re in pain or overworking it. Have a sit/lie down when your body hurts from doing something, you’ll thank yourself later
- Meditate. Guided meditation, breathing techniques, grounding meditation, whatever else there is — for many people it’s useful, so why not give it a go?
This one is so important at the moment, and also quite difficult. We’re all isolated from those we care about, some people we haven’t seen for nearing a year now. And it fucking sucks. And we all hate zoom, but it’s going to be necessary over lockdown. I spent my weekend going through my family tree on Ancestry over Zoom with my family just as a way of connecting — and it’s kind fascinating just how little my families have moved in 200 years…
- Call your parent/s. For no reason, just have a natter and see how they’re doing.
- Reach out to family members you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe it’s your nan or your cousin, but give them a text or call to say hi.
- Stand outside your mates’ house and say hello. Socially distanced, of course. And only if they live close enough that you can walk/ride/drive to them.
- Have a text chat with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Even if they haven’t spoken to you in a long time; remember we’re all in this madness and it’s hard to stay connected
- Utilise Zoom, Houseparty, Skype, FaceTime… Just maybe talk to everyone beforehand when you want to do a Zoom Quiz on extended LOTR lore to check they care. But honestly, we have so much technology these days that will help us stay connected, utilise them and keep yourself sane at the same time!
- Spend some time with the people you live with away from technology. Go for a walk, make something together, or simply just have a long chat
Creativity may not be on everyone’s list, but I think having some form of creative outlet is good for the soul. This can be replaced/ added to with any hobbies you may have, of course. Planting a garden? That’s creativity! Painting Warhammer? Yup, creativity. Planning the takeover of the world? You need to get creative with that! So make sure you’ve got some fun creativity tasks on your list/s — and don’t forget to add some easy ones. Burnout is so real, so have some small projects or a sketchbook to hand so you can mindlessly go about it.
- Having a mindless doodle
- Helping The Fiancé® with his Warhammer scenery (seriously)
The biggest lockdown self care ideas? Don’t pressure yourself.
I said it before and I’ll say it again. Do not pressure yourself. You don’t have to do anything you don’t have to over Lockdown. You didn’t before, you don’t now. Just take it easy, listen to what your body wants from you and learn from it. And always, always find time for a self care thing once a day. It’ll keep your mind in the best place it can be.
As always, I’d love to hear your own self care tips and routines!
Pop some ideas in the comments or see me over on Instagram for some #SelfCareSunday love!