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Guide on Mental Wellbeing in Lockdown & Always!

Hey Everyone :wave:

This is a long read, but we feel like it’s an important one so I hope you stick with me here!

With it fast approaching a year since our first lockdown here in the UK we have been reflecting on what a tough time this has been for many of us both physically and mentally. Whilst it may seem hard to stay positive it’s important for us all to look after ourselves during these difficult times!

As we are spending a lot more time than we have ever been used to before in our homes, our normal activities will more than likely be unavailable to us and this can lead us feeling down and unmotivated very quickly. Here are some of our top tips that we have found useful during this time, we hope you like them too. :rainbow::star:

Our top tips to improve your mental wellbeing (in lockdown and always) are:

  • Being in the same environment day in and day out is draining. Switch up your space if you feel like you need to, and keep spaces as tidy and de-cluttered as possible as a cluttered space can cause a cluttered mind!
  • Routine, routine, routine. It’s scientifically proven that this is helpful for both adults and children alike. Try to create a routine that’s realistic and not too demanding and also try to include some things you enjoy like prioritising getting outside. :deciduous_tree:
  • Meditation and mindfulness are great tools to reduce stress and anxiety, which is particularly important at these uncertain times. There are some great apps available to help you out with this too!
  • Journaling or simply getting your thoughts out on paper good or bad can help your mind feel a little lighter. When you can see it all on paper you can then take a look and create a plan from there by taking away the things you can’t control and making a step by step process on the things that you can. :open_book:
  • Create work-life boundaries and stick to them. Whether you’re revising for an exam or trying to juggle homeschooling with work (or anything in between) remember that boundaries are healthy.
  • Stay informed but be mindful of how much news you consume and the impact this may have on your mental health. :tv:

There are lots of resources out there to help too, here are links to some websites we have found particularly helpful. :smiley:

More specific to us here at Tutorful and within this community is that teaching and learning remotely has also been another hurdle and stress for many people to overcome this last year and we know first hand that this has not come without its challenges!

Our top tips for stress- free online learning are:

  • Get used to the new technology and try to increase your knowledge bit by bit! We have some great FAQ’s to help troubleshoot our own online classroom and some of these tips are transferable to other environments such as our FAQ on how to improve your internet connection. :computer:
  • Adapt your materials so that they are online friendly.
  • Set new learning goals. This applies to if you are a student or a tutor yourself, goals may look different right now and that’s ok! :star:
  • Get in the right mindset! Your mind is a powerful tool, look after it and it will look after you. Your mental health is so important!
  • Boost your skills. If you need extra help right now, or simply want to learn something new then here at Tutorful we would be happy to help connect you to a really great tutor! Feel free to speak to our team for help with finding tutors at all price points and availability. :mortar_board:

So, over to you, I would love to start a conversation in the comments and interact with everyone about this! Did you find any of these tips useful? Do any of you have any tips of your own? We would love to hear from you if you do. :speech_balloon:

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

Kirsty

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Hi thanks for these.

I’m sure lots of us will use these .

For me I disobey every one of these tips! I think for me I’ve not seen the pandemic as other may have and therefore I don’t see it as a major problem. It was strange getting used to wearing a mask. I did lose nearly all my clients at the start, I went from 11 to 1. I do a day job that has required me to work through outside in person with students so it’s really been no different.

I personally use sewing and gardening to unwind and my spiritual beliefs are pagan so I am out doing stuff for that which is very relaxing anyway.

Also Dog , our Lurcher keeps us going!

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Hi Kitty, lovely to hear from you!

I think it’s amazing that you’ve not found the pandemic quite as difficult to adjust to and have managed to simply make some adaptions but keep your life as normal as possible! I’m sure many people can relate to that too and you have provided a really interesting insight there :blush:

Wearing a mask was definitely something that threw me in the beginning too!

Sewing, gardening and spirituality are lovely hobbies and beliefs to have to keep your mind calm, I love those ideas :sunflower:

I bet your dog really loves being in the garden too :dog:

Thank you for sharing

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Like Kitty, I haven’t had a terribly difficult time with the lockdowns, although I have found it hard to be away from family for prolonged stretches of time.

Before the pandemic, I used to work crazy long hours because I commuted to many different students, sometimes over an hour away. This meant 5-6 hours of commuting every day. Online learning has freed up an enormous amount of time, which I have been able to use for hobbies and to further my career goals. For example:

I started a blog and Twitter account, which I’ve been able to grow into a lovely community.

I started writing daily and am seeing first signs of success. One of my short stories will be published in an anthology this year.

At the very start of the first lockdown, I purchased some plants and started a small indoor garden. Now that I’ve moved to a place with a terrace, I will be doing outdoor gardening as well this year. Having something ‘alive’ around is really important when living alone!

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Hi Kathrin,

It was so lovely to read that you have used lockdown to your advantage to embrace online learning! You are spot on it does save so much time and I am so glad that has made for such positive changes and allowed you to focus more closely on your goals. :sparkles:

Fabulous news about your blog community and the publication of one of your short stories, massive congratulations :confetti_ball:

Love the tip of having something alive in your environment such as a plant, I think that’s a great one!

Thank you for reaching out :blush:

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For me there have been positive attributes to lockdown, my tutoring was already mostly online, I will not return to tutoring people in their homes even when that becomes possible again. For me the big change is exercise, I walk 6 days a week for 90 minutes - I have set routes, that has been entirely positive. Hobbies, I have always thought everyone should have one, its private, it does not matter what it is and you do this for yourself not for others. Lockdown - I very rarely drive now and I am thinking of getting rid of my car entirely. TV - watch less - read more - very intolerant of endless adverts - will cause me to reach for the off switch. I have a Saturday job in the village garage shop - five minutes walk from my house - gives variety to my life and I meet a very different clientele. I try to do small acts of kindness for others (but I am no saint) sharing home made food with elderly widowed neighbour, easy to do, costs nothing, reduces isolation. Its easy to say stay positive, the key is to control those aspects of your life that you can control and as always necessity is the mother of invention.

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Morning :sunny:

It’s amazing that you have seen so many positives to this situation! Online tutoring certainly has so many great benefits in any climate :computer:

I completely agree that doing things for yourself is so important! One of mine is also getting myself out for a walk, being out in nature makes all the difference mentally!

I also love the small acts of kindness that you do. Have you seen the film “Pay it forward”? Lovely sentiment behind it much like what you are doing which is so lovely to read!

Thank you so much for your insight :blush:

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Thanks for this post! For me, it’s been getting harder and harder to remember these tips, especially after being on Zoom for 6+ hours in a day…

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She keeps sitting on the strawberries as they are covered in straw and warm :joy::joy:

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Hi @KathrinS

If you need any gardening tips just ask😁

Your commute sounded horrid, I hope when we get back out again you will consider yourself worthy of a 15 mile radius!

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Thanks @Kitty! I am looking forward to getting started. Used to garden a lot as a child, but have never actually had my own garden and only started keeping houseplants last year.

It wasn’t so much a commute as just visiting all the different students in their homes. Because London is so big, you can easily travel 40-60 minutes in between students, even if they are only two zones apart. This used to waste so much time and I’m glad I’ve been able to reorganise my life.

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Hi @Julia :sparkles:

I completely understand that it is hard to remember these tips and also, it’s important to also consider that there is no magic cure and we are completely allowed to not feel ok sometimes! We hear “it’s ok not to be ok” a lot, and really, it is. :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s been such an adjustment for many people so don’t put pressure on yourself to feel a certain way, no matter what you are feeling positive or otherwise there is always somebody out there feeling the exact same, none of us is ever alone!

I hope in those harder moments some of those tips can help take the pressure off a little :sunflower:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

This is a lovely and very important thread so thank you.
On reflection, the first lockdown from March until effectively September I felt I was less disciplined in my approach to work but then really enjoyed the time spent with my wife and my new hobbies. Then in Leicester we had our second lockdown which didn’t really change much as we stayed in our area, so I continued with my hobbies of building instruments, gardening and cooking. Ironically enough I wasn’t practicing as much.
This lockdown from Christmas I felt that I have had to compartmentalise the situation more. I gave myself set hours to work (though perhaps too long) and set times to watch TV but also set times to do some recording. In this most recent lockdown I felt I was more disciplined but perhaps not taken more care in exploring my hobbies. I do not think my well being has necessarily suffered but do recognise that I should have relaxed more.
Intriguing enough, a recent documentary fronted by Roman Kemp has made me realise that one of the most important things is asking ‘How Are You?’ but should be said more than once. I try to say this to myself and if I am hesitating then I know something is difficult.
I would always try to speak to my loved ones and use any form of communication i.e. virtual or old fashioned phone call and try to stay as positive as possible.

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