We have all heard about it-the lockdown blues. You feel like you are stuck inside a tunnel and cannot see the light at the end. Your favourite restaurant, concert venue and movie theatre are closed. What is there to do? We are speaking to some Toronto naturopath doctors of Greystones Health today to get their different perspectives on how to survive the lockdown blues.
What are some important (even small) things to do during these lockdowns to stay on top of your mental health?
Dr. Tabrizi’s perspective
Get fresh air via nature, even pop a window open where you can get sunshine and do a joy ride to your favourite coffee place.
This time can be challenging because a lot of the things that we first go to is watching tv shows as we can’t get to the gym. This is a great time to start thinking of new things and a great opportunity to explore things that we like. We shape our lives to promote a healthier lifestyle overall, what brings us joy, meaning and not just staying in the things that we’ve been doing before.
People work too much and burn themselves out. They rely on one or two tools to cope and that’s what happens when we’re busy.
Be careful with social media, start talking about new things you can explore doing. A lot of people use entertainment but more people need playfulness in their life. Art is so important. A lot of people are lacking art and creativity in life. This can be a great way to do something that is not looking at a screen. For example, doing an adult colouring book, an activity that is sound related, building things (tactile) or something creative.
Start to look around and play local tourist-we all need something new, interesting and novel, that’s why we like travelling, getting lost and discovering something new.
Explore the GTA, whether that’s outdoors, government facilities, museums, or international virtual museums.
Are all levels of your personality fulfilled? What would you like to add to your life?
Asking your friends how they’re doing, most of us are feeling lonely but not reaching out. We’re all feeling the blues. Reach out to your community, they need it as much as you do.
Stay in touch with friends and loved ones.
Get some daily exercise, at least 30 minutes three to five times a week. Yoga is very calming, but whatever exercise you like is great!
If you work from home, download an app that reminds you to breathe or stretch while you’re working.
Eat a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods. Aim to eat protein, healthy fats and fibre at every meal. Avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods.
Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol can affect your blood sugar and cause sleep disruptions.
Ensure that you’re getting enough sleep every night. Most people feel and function at their best after 7-8 hours of sleep.
Have a set daily routine. Try to wake up, sleep and eat at the same time(s) daily.
Watch a show or a movie to make you laugh. Laughter is good (and free) medicine.
Listen to soothing music when you can during your day.
Consider getting a gratitude journal, and write down one thing you’re grateful for daily.