Our world has completely changed since the COVID-19 pandemic took over our lives. As we emerge from lockdown, our lives are going to feel extremely different as the country starts to re-open and it can be awfully intense.
If you’re feeling anxious about ‘normal’ life then remember you’re not alone. We spoke to Lucy Beresford and Yuko Nippoda about three habits you should incorporate into your lifestyle after lockdown.
The three most important points for Beresford are sleep, exercise and connection: “Prioritise sleep, just as you would for a baby. Ensure you have some form of exercise or movement whether that’s yoga or regular walking and keep up connections with friends and loved ones”.
For Nippoda three key habits of reducing anxiety are visualisation, meditation and giving yourself one thing to look forward to every day – “three techniques that can help you to feel ‘grounded’ and more secure”, she says.
“In visualisation you can imagine that you are in a very peaceful, comfortable and safe place. Perhaps a forest surrounded by nature, listening to the sounds of a river, on the beach looking at the sunset, or even in your favourite place - perhaps where you grew up and where you felt nourished. Close your eyes and go to that place in your imagination for 5 or 10 minutes to feel a sense of peace and refreshment.
“Meditation is similar to visualisation, but there are many different kinds of meditation. One for example is, closing your eyes and counting your breathing. Another, Zen meditation, is to open your eyes and empty your mind of thoughts and focus on mere existence. Another is to listen to a guided meditation with music. The importance of all of these techniques is to stay in the here and now. When you do this, you can forget about your anxiety.
“Finally, I suggest you find something you look forward to everyday. You could water your plants and talk to them. You could cook and eat your favourite things or listen to your favourite music. Even these tiny things will nourish you and offer reassurance, which is important in reducing anxiety.