From XU Magazine, 
Issue 28

20 Ideas to Feel Uplifted and Help you Take Care of Yoursel

The world is lopsided and feels a little chaotic and crazy now, due to the global panic around coronavirus (COVID-19). If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed by it all, be reassured that this is a very normal response. However, it’s important to go easy on yourself and to take time for self-care. Here is a list of ideas and self-care activities that you can do to help keep yourself centred and focused. They’ll help you feel a little better and give you a sense of control during a very uncertain time.

1. Plan your day

Put some structure into your day and plan out a couple of things you want to accomplish. You’ll get a great sense of satisfaction from achieving your goals. Trying to keep to a routine as this will help to keep yourself feeling present and productive.

You can also try adding in something new to your routine. This helps to mix up your day while still keeping it planned. Always wanted to try a new hobby? Or want to get your exercise out of the way first thing? Try tweaking your routine by adding in something that’ll benefit your wellbeing to give you something to focus on and give you a sense of achievement.

2. Stay connected to friends and family

Communication and staying in touch is more important than ever before. Even though our usual social activities have been impacted, try to schedule catchups with your friends and family online. With today’s technology there are many ways to stay connected and using different means to stay in touch can be fun. Recording a video and send it to a friend. FaceTime with family and see the smiles on their faces. Call and leave a cheery voice message even if they don’t pick up.

Reconnect with someone like a friend, business associate or family member you’ve not spoken to in a while? Pick up your phone to catch up and fill up on positive feelings.

3. Share worries

The old saying is, a problem shared is a problem halved. Sharing concerns can help alleviate the burden of carrying them alone, even though whomever you choose to share it with won’t be able to solve it, you can at least talk them through with someone you trust.

4. Don’t neglect your hobbies

Whilst some hobbies (i.e. travel) might be more difficult right now, try to re-engage with hobbies you can do - it might be picking up an old instrument you’ve not played in a while, planting a veggie garden or a home DIY project. Great joy is gained from the hobbies that we love.

5. Do something for others 

Helping others can have a wonderful effect on our mental wellbeing. Try volunteering (some volunteer work can be done remotely if you would prefer), or get in touch with friends and family and see if there’s anything (i.e. picking up groceries) that you can help them with, or even donate to your favourite charity. 

6. Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude can have a profound effect on our mood. Try writing three things at the end of each day that you’re grateful in a journal you can keep by your bedside to help generate positive vibes. Practice daily and check in on how it makes you feel. 

7. Get outside

Being outside in nature and fresh air can be really uplifting. Soak up a little vitamin D and greenery and head outside for some fresh air. Getting outside for a brisk walk can be great for our mental wellbeing. You can also practice mindfulness by noticing what’s in your environment as you walk (i.e. the colours, sounds, smells) or use it as an opportunity to catch up on your favourite podcasts, audiobooks or listening to music that makes you happy. By building in movement into your daily routine (i.e. a brisk 30 minute walk, a 3-5k run, a swim or outdoor workout), you will find it is a known mood-booster.

8. Listen to uplifting music

If you’re lacking your usual commute to work, then you might find yourself listening to music a little less. Try putting on some music that you know uplifts you for a quick break and mood boost. If you can, dance like no one is watching, as this can also boost your mood! 

9. Stay hydrated

Being dehydrated can make us feel tired, anxious, and low. Keep a water bottle by your desk to make sure you sip it throughout the day. A good 2 litres per day will help immensely.

10. Find positive stories in the news and share them with loved ones

There are plenty of news stories of positive things happening in the world, take a break from the regular news to remember it’s not all doom and gloom. Focusing on the positive and fun stories each day will help boost your mood.

11. Have a good laugh

Laughter is a great antidote to stress and feeling low. There’s plenty of comedic content on streaming sites including free ones like YouTube. Take a break from your day and enjoy some clips to keep your spirits up. Laugh out loud and laugh often!

12. Make yourself your favourite meal

We can easily get in a cooking cycle preparing the same meals over and over.  Take the time to prepare a meal you know you love to stir up some positive feelings! Try making it together with family or other housemates. Cooking together creates a great environment for chatting about your day or to share stories.

13. Buy some flowers

Beautiful flowers to look at and smell can be uplifting so treat yourself and your home. Purchase flowers that remind you of someone or something wonderful. Walking into a room decorated with flowers will put a smile on your face. 

14. Try some mood-boosting yoga or tap into mindfulness and meditation

Yoga can be great for flexibility, strength and as with any exercise can boost our mood. Adding to that mindfulness and meditation can help us stay in the present moment instead of worrying about the future or pondering on the past.

15. Write it out

Some can find journaling their feelings a really helpful way of releasing stress and negative feelings. Taking time to journal can be incredibly cathartic. Allowing your thoughts and ideas to flow into written form. Re-reading your journal at later times can be exciting and rewarding taking you back to different times and experiences in your life.

16. Plan to have some fun

It can be easy to get caught up in working and doing chores but plan some time into your day where you can have fun with whatever makes you happy. We can still have fun and finding those things that make us happy will provide a break in our day.

17. Take a social media break

Social Media can be a great way to stay connected. However sometimes it can make us feel like our own lives don’t match up to others. Taking a break from social media can help us rebalance our viewpoint and ground back in reality. Take time to filter your social media and focus on things that make you happy.

18. Smile

Sometimes the act of smiling alone can make us, and those that are around us feel happier. Try smiling wherever you go and then thanking those around for their service. 

19. Immerse yourself in a new TV show, book or podcast or watch something motivational

Enjoy a bit of a distraction in the form of a new TV show, read a book or listen to a podcasts that interest you. Enjoy some escapism in a comedic film or series and enjoy a mood boost. There are plenty of motivational talks out there on free streaming sites like YouTube that you can watch to help when you’re feeling like a pick me up.

20. Focus on what you can control

While it can feel like many things are out of our control, you can take steps to look after yourself and your loved ones with healthy food, connectivity (together or online), exercise and plenty of mood-boosting leisure activities are some of the best ways you can currently ride this wave of the pandemic. Focusing on what you can control helps us feel like we are regaining our lives and gaining back control.


If it’s all getting a bit much...

Sometimes things can get overwhelming, even if you’ve been practising self-care. As most people will be physically distancing or self-isolating a great option is telephone and online services. Beyond Blue have a dedicated website to support you when needed.

Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service

coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au

This website will be regularly updated with information, advice, and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time. And you can stay up to date by joining their email community.

Phone Support Service

However the pandemic is affecting your mental wellbeing, you can talk it through with one of our counsellors. We’ll provide advice and support based on your specific needs. Call 1800 512 348

Web Chat Support Service Sometimes you may not feel like talking on the phone, so why not chat online. Trained counsellors are available to provide support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Online Community Forum  Connect to others, share your experiences, and exchange messages of support on our dedicated forum: Coping during the coronavirus pandemic

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