If you’re in London or the South East, you will be in tier 4 like me. Thankfully that doesn’t mean I have to spend Christmas alone as I can still spend it with my family. However, for many, this is not going to be possible.
I wholeheartedly send my love and support to those who are affected by this in addition to everything else this pandemic has brought upon us. Please send me a DM @dairiblog if you want to chat or anything. I’m not a trained specialist in anything other than Secondary and Forensics teaching but am happy to help whenever I can.
Alternatively, if you know somebody who is unable to see their family or is going to be alone for another reason, why not send them a surprise gift? I have sent books, “care packages” and other gifts to some friends who I felt needed an uplift.
I have listed the Mindfulness Exercises from previous weeks that you can still do in tier 4 plus one or two extras:
- Make your bed as soon as you get up – I can stay in bed for HOURS longer than necessary but once I make my bed I tend not to get back into bed and although small, it makes me feel better and allows me to be more productive throughout the day.
- Start the day with the 5/10/15 minutes of exercise – whether that’s an intense “body attack” or going for a morning walk somewhere with lots of nature. I usually do an hour a couple of times a week with some walks in between and rarely yoga (via Zoom).
- Stretch everyday – whether this is in the morning or before bed it makes such a difference, especially if you are sitting at a computer all day.
- Incorporate 5 minutes (or more) meditation into your day – I am still working on being consistent but it always helps.
- Spend 5 minutes (or more) focusing on your breathing – sometimes I do this automatically when I get really anxious but I also like doing this in bed when I am struggling to sleep.
- Try to read every day – I say “try” because I know how easy it is to get caught up in a series or on your phone but I honestly always feel better when I have read (especially before bedtime for me as it clears and calms my mind). I also try to listen to audiobooks when I’m driving. And I know we ALL have a pile of unread books lying around!
- Smile at someone that you pass on the street today or whenever you next go for a walk. I try to do this every day as it’s a free gift to give and can uplift both your moods.
- Take time out of your day to help someone else – this could be somebody in your household, on the other end of the phone, or somebody asking for advice on a forum, etc. It could be as simple as listening to somebody who is feeling alone. My amazing friends always listen to me and I love being there for them too.
- Write a positive review online about a local business you rate – my latest review was for @lucybeecoconut who has amazing coconut-based products and I received a lovely response.
- Designate a technology-free room in your home – I know space could be an issue but perhaps agree to keep your kitchen technology-free if you live in a shared house?
- Log out of one/all social media accounts for the day – I do this most days but also don’t usually have notifications so I only go onto social media when I have time (sometimes I don’t even think about it). A personal goal of mine, however, is to work on my social media presence as I incorporate writing on my page but I am working through some things and will get there eventually!
- Remove all technology from your bedroom overnight.
- Do something creative – it’s Christmas and you can make decorations, make cards (if it’s not too late), or even design some virtual cards. Adobe Spark is such a great app and you can even add animations!
- Write more – I have been struggling with my mental health recently and something that has helped me is to write. I have written poems, short stories, letters about how I’m feeling. Some things I’ve shared, others I have not. One thing I want to incorporate is writing down what I’m grateful for. Next week I’ll post what I’ve been grateful for this year.
- Switch to a reusable water bottle – I know this is such a common gift for birthdays and holidays such as Christmas, but if you don’t receive one and haven’t already got one, maybe treat yourself. And obviously, drink lots of water – it is a great replacement for caffeine.
- Remove caffeine from your diet for the day (or week)… or life – I rarely drink caffeine now as I’m obsessed with rooibos tea again. I feel so much lighter and healthier without caffeine!
- Have a vegan/vegetarian meal – my sister posted a Linda McCartney Foods quote that said: “If everyone in the UK ate a vegan Christmas dinner, 125,000 pigs & 2 million turkeys would be saved.” I know the tradition is important for some and most people will already be prepared but if your plans have changed at the last minute (thanks, Tier 4), perhaps this is something that will keep you occupied?
- Teach yourself to cook a new dish – it doesn’t have to be vegan but if you are trying Veganuary (like me) then maybe try a new vegan dish.
- Sort out your stuff and donate what you don’t want – this could be tricky but some charities can collect your unwanted items for the homeless and other vulnerable groups.
- Recycled storage – I’m a big fan of sustainable living (if you haven’t already gathered) and you can use something as simple as empty food jars for lots of different uses.
- Take 10 minutes out of your day to do nothing – it’s such an intense time and we are all going through it. Sometimes 10 minutes turns into (a lot) longer for me!
Last but not least: Have a judgement-free day (or few days actually) – it’s Christmas so eat, drink and be merry! Sending lots of virtual hugs and light to you all.
Categories: Wellness Column