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Keeping Motivated During Lockdown!

Going back a few months ago, if someone had told you that we'd all be confined to our houses, businesses were closing their doors and workers being furloughed it would have been hard to take them seriously... and now here we all are! It's still a very surreal situation - with normal routines going out the window and restrictions on much of what we can do during the day being introduced, but it's important to keep positive and remember this isn't going to be forever!

Having to shut the doors to Blue Dragon was something I'd never thought I'd have to do, and the pause of training has hit me particularly hard. Over the past few weeks I've been finding ways in keeping my mood and motivation up - here are my top tips:

- Get up and get dressed: Although it's tempting to stay home in our PJs all day, it's not good for our mental health. Make sure you get up, have a shower and get dressed as you would normally do - no matter what your plans are. Being dressed and ready helps get us in a positive mindset, while living in pajamas can start to make you feel sluggish and low.

- Try to keep to your normal basic routine: Get up, have breakfast, lunch and dinner and go to bed at the times you would do normally. The lockdown is under regular review and could be lifted at any point - not letting yourself slip into a totally new routine will help you adjust again once restrictions are removed and things can go back to normal!

- Try to spend as much time outside as you can: Being outside can help us to feel more connected to the community and to nature, as well as helping to improve our mood and reduce stress. If you're lucky enough to have a garden, go out and enjoy it! If you don't, make sure you are making the most of your 'one exercise a day' reason to leave the house and go for a walk, jog or cycle (although please stay safe and take social distancing into consideration when you do)!

- Use the time as an opportunity: Yes this sucks, but try to look at the positives as much as you can. Get on with any DIY jobs you've had on the back burner, get the garden ready for the summer, tackle that project you've had in mind for a while - now is the time for all those things you wanted to do but didn't have time for! Although it's tough not being able to go out and do the things we're used to doing, it is a good opportunity to tick things off our to-do lists, spend quality time with our families and be grateful for the things we have.

- If your days are blurring together try blocking your time: Blocking time can be a really useful way of organising your day. Get a piece of paper and plan out what you want to do each day and how long you want to spend on each task, then tick things off as you go. These don't have to be major tasks or really challenging activities - they can also be really simple things like 'spend time playing with the kids' or 'read a book'. At the end of the day you'll have a list of ticked off activities - giving a sense of accomplishment and helping you feel like you've put your time to good use.

- Keep in touch: Even though we can't visit people from other households at the moment, we can still check in on them and catch up. Make sure you're making the most of apps like FaceTime, Zoom and Google Hangouts to talk to friends and family. I took part in a group video call last week which turned out to be a really good laugh!

Stay safe everyone,


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