I needed to write this post for me as much as anyone else, because I’m feeling it again too. After having such an exciting time away with lots of adventures, it’s hard to come back to being restricted in what I want to do (this time it’s COVID lockdowns that are restrictive). I have experienced this feeling a lot over the last few years when my own body restricted how much I could do and I would spend days and weeks on end at home resting and had very little variety in my days.
Most of the time, I find that whenever someone says you can’t do something, whether it be enforced from yourself, a doctor, or the government, it’s the feeling of being stripped of the agency to make the choice for yourself, that is what makes us want to do that activity even more. Even if we don’t need or want to do that thing anyway, we just want to be able to make the choice ourselves.
When the days will start to feel the same, and each week felt like the last, it can be a hard emotion to identify – you are both restless for something new and unsatisfied with the options. It is one emotion that I’m still having trouble with every day, sometimes it’s easier and sometimes it’s hard. Losing motivation and drive to get up and go is such a fluctuating mood, and it can occur at any time. I find that when things around me are uncertain and have no structure, that’s when I feel it (or feel nothing) the most.
It’s mentally hard when you know what you are missing out on and it’s the little things that add variety to your day – the chats over coffee with your workmate, or the cool car you saw on the drive home, or eating a meal in a different place to yesterday. These little incidents don’t seem like much, but they are the spices to an otherwise bland meal.
Here are some of my tried and true tips to help minimize the sluggish feeling of Groundhog Day, and add a little variety to the week!
- Create a daily structure schedule and keep the same routines. This means treating the day as if it would be a normal day – get up at the same time, get dressed – do what you would normally do. Pretend that everything is normal if it gets you there. When we constantly revise if we are going to get dressed or not, or “what’s the point if we are staying home anyway”, it’s valuable brain energy we could save and it sets up our mindset that today is a wasted day. See my post on how Clothes Can Change Your Mindset.
- More intentional about your well-being strategy. We need to double down on taking care of ourselves, as things that we might not be able to handle as much as we used to in normal circumstances. These are tough times to live in and especially if you have your own personal health crisis happening too. We have to look out for ourselves to make sure we’re not burning the candle at both ends. Make time for things that make you feel energized and restored.
- Create a ritual or activity that serves as a bookend to the start and the end of your day. Just like commuting to and from work is the bookend for working hours, it can be helpful to do something that starts and ends the day. Maybe it’s stretching, meditation, journaling or reading. Something to round it up!
- Fill your calendar up with something to look forward to; search for online video events such as book chats, home concerts, livestream events, sporting games, gallery talks, and rent from home cinema new release movies. A major lockdown perk has been entertainment accessibility: This is accessibility and inclusivity that needs to continue for people who can’t get out to go to in-person events.
- Start a new tradition! Inspired by Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere, she started ‘Sundae Sundays’ with her family to have something to look forward to in the depths of the pandemic lockdowns. It’s also a great way to end the weekend if you get the ‘Sunday scaries’ before the new week starts.
- Find ways to have connection with others. We have to be intentional about connecting with people, especially if our incidental connections are no longer available to us. Schedule phone or video calls with a friend or call your Grandma!
- Value-add a sense of purpose to your everyday activities, so that you feel that you are contributing to something bigger than your own needs. Maybe pick up rubbish while walking in the park or the beach, or volunteer your sewing or knitting skills for charity or wildlife care blankets.
- Start a daily creative project! Having something to think about, plan and do each day that is something you like doing can be great at developing skills and feeling a sense of accomplishment. See my post on The Daily Project That Sustained Me During My Most Difficult Year for some inspiration!
- Find some small wins – complete something each day e.g. a crossword, sudoku, find a word, a chapter of a book, a magazine article. The small wins are still a win.
- Seek mental health medical support if you are struggling. We all need it sometimes.
What helps you get through the day? Leave a comment below and share your tips and check out the posts below for more ideas!
Take heart, Readers. I’ll keep the light on.
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When chronic conditions start to infiltrate every part of your life, you can feel like you are losing control or have others make all the choices for you. This series is about regaining a bit of control in areas that are manageable and make a huge difference – starting with the online world! Read about how I changed my online experience from taking me for a ride to taking the wheel!Keep reading