Knowing me, before knowing you… looking after yourself in lockdown

Rosanna Machado | April 29, 2020

My favourite thing to come out of lockdown is a playlist that I’m doing with a group of friends. Each morning, one of us adds a new tune to the playlist and the only criteria is that it brings us joy – it’s like a musical Advent calendar and you never quite know what you’ll get. As my friend commented today, “Where else do T-Rex, Saint Vincent and B*Witched happily rub shoulders against each other?” Such a simple idea has brought us a lot of joy – we feel a stronger connection to each other and the music itself has a very uplifting quality with, of course, an opportunity to dance!

As most of us face a change in routine and less opportunity to leave the house, our self-care routine is likely to have been affected at the very time when looking after yourself and finding joy is so important. So why not think about what you can do to establish a new routine?

  • I’d encourage you to take time to reflect on how you are feeling and write it down or chat to a friend about it. There is no right or wrong response but what is important is that you acknowledge how you are feeling 
  • Accept that some of your old self-care routine is probably not possible right now, due to practicalities or new responsibilities. Accepting what we cannot control can help us to move forward and focus on where we can control or influence a situation
  • Think about something simple that you can do for yourself and how you can build it into an existing routine e.g. deep breathing whilst making your morning cup of tea. Habit-stacking is one of the easiest ways to embed a new habit
  • Decide how you would like to nurture relationships – Video calls aren’t the only way to communicate with people. A phone call can be less pressurised, and people tend to listen more attentively or sending a message or card can work equally as well. Or I would highly recommend a playlist with friends!
  • Don’t be afraid to turn things down – we can’t do everything, so we have to make choices about what we need right now. It may seem hard to say no to friends as the white lie about I’m already out is not going to cut it! However, those that really matter in your life will understand
  • Talk to friends about what you need – you may be invited on a group call but if you prefer a one-to-one chat with someone, let them know
  • Ask others how you can support them – this is new territory for everyone so it may not be obvious how to support someone
  • Look for the smaller random moments which can bring just as much joy – listening to a song or greeting a stranger from afar in the park can lift your spirits for the day
  • Try not to worry about what everyone else is doing – I haven’t done any baking yet either
  • Most of all be kind to yourself

This morning was my turn on the playlist and as it’s hump day I thought some Irish dancing was in order to lift our spirits, so the song choice was C’est La Vie by B*Witched.