Exams. Heavy workload. Finishing uni with a global pandemic happening.
Just a few things to stress us out these days which can also take a toll on our mental health, sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and simplify certain things.
You got this.
This post was written before any announcements about June or July lockdown easings.
Identify Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
For me, it’s leaving everything to the last minute and taking my stress out on others…mainly my parents, oops. I lose motivation fairly easily and tend to get distracted by a funny Youtube video or get lost into the realms of Pinterest, planning, and creating holidays for Josh and I someday. With my blog, it’s different as I plan a year’s worth of content and write posts in bulk so all I can focus on is sharing the heck out of them on Twitter and Pinterest. So on reflection, I could plan blog posts as they come to me and not put so much pressure on myself to become THE blogger everyone looks up to, because, let’s be honest, it’s going to take some time to get to that stage.
When I was at university, wow still feels weird saying that, I would skip a few lessons and then end up WAY behind everyone else. It’s a black hole once you start doing that with your higher education. You get comfortable skipping a class once a week and before you know it, your assignment is due and you only went to three sessions. Don’t do that, especially in your third and most important year. Listen to your elders, kids. However, I am still stressing about the pronunciation of my name at graduation in November.
Be Physically Active
I’m not suggesting running a marathon every week because jeez, you’d be knackered! Maybe try going for longer walks (on our now unlimited exercise privilege, cheers BoJo), find a new little hideaway, and go for a socially distanced picnic with friends. I know I ought to start leaving the house more, but again, I really can’t be bothered to leave the house. I’ve got too comfortable staying in bed until late, but more on that later on. Create a routine, playlist and challenge yourself to improve every time you go for exercise. Get on Strava. It’s great for tracking your progress and you can see how well your friends are doing too! Listen to my workout playlist here.
Before lockdown, I would be really active as my work is in town so I would grab the bus from home and then have a five to ten-minute walk to every shift, then have an hour’s lunch break to mooch about town which was brill in a busy city as you can just stroll along. It was the same with uni too, as my university was just on the outskirts of town so it was a little trek to get there, so I was doing tons of exercise but now in lockdown, I literally have zero motivation to get off my butt and go walk around the estate. I keep saying that I will go for walks, but I just don’t and that needs to change. I must say I’m eating much healthier since lockdown as I’m back with my parents in the evenings.
Build & Maintain Relationships
I guess lockdown is the perfect time to patch up old friendships and catch up with those close to home as well. Marty moved back home at the start of lockdown so we’ve been keeping contact via video calls and tutorials with our uni lecturer. Josh comes round, keeping the two metre rule, for food and obviously catching up because we haven’t physically seen each other for two months, lucky lad! We have a group chat with Will and Jake and regularly Snapchat and make sure that we are all coping okay daily. I’m very grateful for those boys, especially when they’ve coped with stressed university Niamh for the best part of three years. I’m also surprised that they haven’t told me to shut up more, ha!
Now that I’ve graduated uni, it’s the right time to catch up with school and college friends as we have more time on our hands to have a virtual or socially distanced chat. I’ve changed a bit since my secondary school days, I’ve seen a couple of my classmates have even got married and a few have had babies too. Starting a future early wasn’t my plan, not yet anyway, Josh and I won’t be doing anything like that for a good few years! We still need to find our house! I’ve set up an Instagram waiting for the day we can start documenting our renovations if we need any!
Change Your Attitude
Like I mentioned before, I’m even being really sloppy getting out of bed at a reasonable time. I was brilliant at the start of the year and I even posted about my morning and evening routine. I should start getting back into that routine, even if I don’t have university or work, for the next month. Being furloughed has made me lazier as I know I’m being paid for sitting and watching Netflix all day. I honestly can’t wait to get back to work as I love my job and adore my team, I miss interacting with other people. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents tons but it’ll be nice to see other faces.
I think the earliest I’ve been up since lockdown was announced was 7:30 to go with Dad to get the car seen to. I got to be reunited with my little cousin but it was strange as I couldn’t hug or spin him around like I usually do, we played a socially distanced game of football though. Even my Aunty and I went in for a hug and both went “OOPS!” and laughed about our little hiccup. Luckily my Grandparents had loads of covered scaffolding in their garden as my Grandad’s lockdown project is to tidy their conservatory up, and it was absolutely chucking it down so at least we had covering to stand under while seeing the other Darbys. It’s a very strange time, I just hope it ends soon.
Develop a ‘Stress Relief’ Toolkit
My stress relief is either planning Christmas presents, birthday shopping, or watching Disney +. I love finding Christmas present bargains and especially with what I’m calling ‘Corona sales’. I managed to grab a few of Josh’s presents for his birthday this month and Christmas in the ‘Corona sales’ which meant I had some extra money to spend on other presents. I really hope ‘Corona sales’ catches on, I’m proud of that, ha! Another toolkit must-have is a soothing playlist, I’m not talking about classical music though. I usually tend to listen to a lot of late 90’s to early 00’s chart hits, check my playlist out. you could always create a lockdown favourites playlist too, I’m not sharing that one…it’s full of 80’s cheesy hits like Jason and Kylie.
On the food and drink side, I like a good ol’ Yorkshire Tea in my favourite mug, so why not treat yourself to nice mug and some yummy biscuits? My favourite mug features on my Instagram stories a lot, it’s a collage of my fave selfies with Josh so even though it’s a tiny thing, it’s kept me sane in lockdown. Rich teas are my go-to biscuit, I know they’re boring but they are THE best. So grab a cuppa, Rich Teas and watch your favourite comedy. I’m loving Modern Family on Netflix at the moment but they need to hurry up and put seasons 8 – 11 as I’ve nearly finished season 7! I need new recommendations so please leave me some in the comments!
Edit: On the day of writing this post, I actually watched the last episode of season 7 of Modern Family on Netflix so suggestions are NEEDED!