Suitable self talk during the lockdown

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We’ve been in lockdown now for several weeks. If you’re struggling with it all, one of the best things you can do is to change your mindset. But how? I hear you asking. By changing the way you view and think about stuff. Let me explain…

It’s a very uncertain, anxious, and strange time for us all. Some people cope better than others. A lot of it can depend on your personality type. For example, if you’re an introvert, you will naturally prefer lots of alone time. But if you’re an extrovert, you’ll be missing the company of other people and being stuck inside may be a real struggle.

And even if your personality suits this pandemic lockdown situation, then you may still have bad days where your mind takes over and things seem very much out of your control. Things seem to be changing daily, and we don’t know how long we will be forced to stay indoors, so it’s important that you can help yourself wherever you can.

Mindset shifts in the way you think

Having the right mindset is so important right now. What follows are some suggestions on how you can think (and act) about various situations in a more calming, positive, and accepting way.

Let me know what you think and share any more suggestions in the comments box below.

Stay home. Save Lives.

I’m stuck at home all day” > “I am safe at home”

You might feel like you are stuck at home, but you are also safe at home. Staying at home is one of the things you can do to help stop the spread of coronavirus and to help protect you and your loved ones. At home you are safe.

Think about the things you are doing at home:

I’m tidying at home. I’m reading at home. I’m trying new recipes at home. I’m looking after myself at home. I’m working at home. I’m learning at home. I’m being creative at home. I’m grateful to be at home. I’m protecting others at home. I’m alive at home.

“I miss the things I enjoy” > “I’m grateful for the little things”

You may not be able to do some of the things you enjoy and love to do, but more than ever we need to be grateful for the little things. I am more grateful than ever for my morning coffee, my time out the house to do my daily exercise, and for being able to spend this time with my family.

“I’m convinced I am going to get coronavirus” > “I will do everything I can to protect myself”

No one knows for sure if they will get the virus. Lots of people are getting it, but if you do what we are advised to do – stay at home, wash your hands properly, and distance yourself from other people – you are reducing your chances of getting the virus.

“I will run out of food and household items” > ” I am prepared, have all I need right now, and I will use what I have in a resourceful way”

It won’t help that the media has regularly reported on supermarkets running out of essential food and household items. This has created more panic buying and people have then struggled to get the things they usually need and buy. Granted, some items are essential – such as toilet rolls – but you may have to give some items you normally buy a miss for some time. It’s about learning to adapt and trying different things.

It’s also about shopping at places you don’t normally shop. We’ve found the local shops much quieter than the bigger supermarkets, and we have managed to get what we needed each time we’ve been.

You also need to make sure you plan your meals and things you use so that you don’t waste anything. The day I wrote this post, we had cheesy beans on toast for lunch and we had eggs, homemade chips, and bbq beans for tea. We had plenty of beans in, two slices of bread that needed either using or freezing, and loads of potatoes. Get creative with your meal planning and cooking and you will feel so much better about things – and you may even be proud of what you come up with!

“Everywhere seems to be closing” > “The important places are staying open and are there when I need them”

It feels like everywhere is shutting down right now, and the majority of places are, but the reason for this is to help keep people safe. The vital and important places are staying open though. Places such as hospital and medical centres, shops and supermarkets, and even vets and fruit and veg shops are there if you need them. Some places may only be doing deliveries, but this means you get to stay at home and the things you need come to you – obviously with some social distancing of course.

“I’ve lost my freedom” > “I have time to get stuff done”

You may not be able to go out the house like you used to do, but you have time to declutter your house and maybe get stuff done you’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

You’ll never get this time back so make the most of it, and I can guarantee that you’ll never regret doing some decluttering.

“I miss my family and/or work colleagues” > “I can pick up the phone or video call the people I love to stay in touch”

It’s hard not seeing your family and friends right now, especially if they live alone or are one of the categories of people who are unable to leave the house right now. But technology is wonderful and we can keep in touch with almost anyone right now. Pick up the phone or video call someone and you will feel so much better.

“My kids are nagging me” > “I’m getting to spend time with my kids that I never would’ve had”

I don’t have kids so I can’t fully appreciate how hard things might be right now. But I imagine a lot of people are feeling frustrated and nagged by their children. Even if this is the case, you can try and think that you are lucky to be able to send this time with your children; time that you will never get back again.

“There is too much uncertainty right now” > “I can’t control what is happening, but I can control my actions”

It’s important to do what you can to help yourself. Do not sit there, dwell and worry. This will do you no good. You need to keep busy and distract yourself. Find something to keep your mind busy – colouring, a film, a drama series, and puzzle. And find something to keep your body busy – go for your daily exercise (a walk, run or cycle is allowed), do some skipping in the garden, do a YouTube exercise video. Any form of exercise will help you and will also help you manage your stress and anxiety, which is crucial for your wellbeing and mental health.

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8 thoughts on “Suitable self talk during the lockdown

  1. lydiaschoch says:

    This is such good advice.

    I’ve struggled with grief over missing some events this spring and summer that I’d been looking forward to for many months. It’s a much smaller problem than many folks are dealing with, but reframing it has been helpful.

  2. Despite Pain says:

    Alice, this is so good. A calming way to look at life right now. We all need that.
    Having the right attitude makes such a difference. I know of so many people who are struggling to cope with the lockdown. If only they would read this and say, “I am safe at home.”

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