Feel like it has been a while since the last time I popped over here... Really sorry about that, but it has been a tough time, and I didn't find the inspiration nor the time to write anything... until today!
Considering the new confinement coming straight forward, I feel the need to write about it and cheer everyone up.
During the first confinement, I realized how much people were mentally affected. I noticed they put lots of pressure on themselves feeling the need to constantly do more and be in the state of art. According to an article written by Ashley Mateo, a writer/editor from the women's health magazine, some studies confirmed my thoughts and showed that 40% of Americans, mainly women, struggled with their mental health since the first confinement.
Let's be honest, social media didn't help AT ALL . Of course, the fitness influencers, the healthy food and lifestyle bloggers (including me) tried their best to provide their audience with good content, and it was obviously from a good gesture and caring. Unfortunately, the major thing people took away from it was comparison and guilt.
As stated in another health magazine (sorry couldn't find the source back, my bad oops) most of us had more time because of homeworking, which also means we spent more time on our screen comparing ourselves to what/whom we saw on social media.
On top of that, we also moved less, saw fewer people, in other words, we felt totally trapped and without any control. The only control we had left was the one on our diet and our body leading to excessive workout sessions, excessive diets, restriction, and so on. Needless to say how harmful it has been for mental health.
Results? Today, we're all mentally exhausted, depleted, and scared. We don't want to live that all over again.
What should we do this time?
I won't tell you to unfollow all your followings, but to be more cautious and thoughtful.
Don't fall back into your laps, and sort things out. Keep in mind that having more time for yourself doesn't mean you gotta be super productive during that time. Take the opportunity to do what you never have time for. Remember that time you told yourself "I wish I could have time for this and that"? Now you have it, so do it!
Here below are some few personal tips to put into practice during this confinement to preserve your mental health:
Keep following your CURRENT gym routine: No need to exercise more. Have you ever thought about what will happen when everything will go back to normal? Well, let me tell you. You'll feel frustrated because you won't have time for that anymore. Instead, take the opportunity to exercise at a more convenient time, to do it with your partner, or to discover new fitness influencers to start new workouts from home.
Get some fresh air: I'm pretty sure you already know that, but I'm also convinced that most of you don't really do it, it's very important though. Take at least 15 min every day to go outside and get some fresh air. You have no idea of how positive it is for your mind.
Get yourself ready every morning: Don't be sloppy and take time to dress up every morning. It'll definitely condition you to kick off on the right foot. Plus, finding ourselves "pretty" is a good mood booster.
Set up a social media schedule: Impose yourself a social media timing and stick to it (I'm probably the first one who has to do it btw :p). As already mentioned, laying around social media can be sometimes very destructor (comparison feelings, feeling of unproductivity,of waste of time, you name it). Regulate your social media time and free up some time for something else you left (read a good book, watch a nice old movie, cook a nice meals or desserts, take a warm bath, call your family,..).
Define new habits: The confinement lifestyle is different than the one we're used to having. So why not establishing new habits to keep ourselves occupied and not too lost? For instance, try to favor local products and make your own milk, your own laundry products, shampoo, whatever (have a look at goodmorninglau, she can help you with that :) ). You can also set up a new morning routine starting by a nice warm-up, newspaper reading followed by a yummy breakfast for cheering you up, ... It can be anything you want as long as you get yourself busy and amused.
Organize some theme nights: Yes, you read it properly! We don't have the chance to go out to the restaurants, nor to a diner at our friends', so what I suggest here is to plan some dinners with the one you live with. You can decline those dinners by implementing different themes (board game night, Mexican night, Italian night, ...). It might sound ridiculous, but honestly, it feels so good to have something to look forward to.
That said, I hope you found this article interesting, and that you'll all have better confinement this time. Feel free to leave me a comment with your feedback and even your personal plan for this new confinement. In the meantime, take care of your mental health, this is your first home.