Staying positive during lockdown

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As the coronavirus lockdown continues for many of us – either on a full or partial basis – we look at strategies to help you stay positive and avoid going stir-crazy.

‘Keeping a healthy mind and body should be your number one priority during this unprecedented time and can also help you to stay positive,’ says Simon Bell, founder and director, Careermap. ‘Make sure to exercise each day to get out of the house, go for a walk, run or even enjoy a bike ride. This will help release feel-good chemicals to give your mental and physical health a boost.’

Jane Barnfield-Jukes, psychotherapist and counsellor, and founding partner of The Practice (, invokes Aristotle to guide us through these strange times. ‘As the philosopher famously wrote, to live a good life we need to take care of our basic human needs, meaning physical exercise, balanced nutrition, intellectual stimulation, love and friendship, and virtue in helping others,’ she says. ‘Your wellbeing now more than ever depends on your ability look after yourself as well as those around you.’

Even those people that were previously reticent about using social media and online meeting tools are now discovering that they really are a great way of bringing the outside world into your lockdown space. ‘Jump on FaceTime or Skype, have a chat and put the world to rights. You’ll feel much better for it,’ urges Bell. ‘Just because you’re unable to see your friends and family in person, thanks to technology it’s still just as easy to stay connected.’

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Barnfield-Jukes presses the point home by referencing another philosopher. ‘According to Emanuel Kant we are social beings, predisposed to connect to others and we suffer if this need is not met. So speak to people,’ she urges. Whether on the phone, Zoom or simply socially distanced walking, make sure you interact with others around you. As human beings, we struggle with isolation and loneliness. Guard against it and book face-time with friends and loved ones.’

Stay in touch with people and events, but don’t let the media consume you, warns Bell. ‘It’s easy to get sucked into the current pandemic and allow it to completely control your life. Remember that you’re the one who is in control,’ he says. ‘Respond to the outbreak with a positive attitude. Don’t turn to binge eating and alcohol to suppress your boredom. Instead find healthy ways to cope like reading a book, pampering yourself, cooking and eating healthy snacks.’

Finally, try to establish a routine of sorts. ‘Routines can help with cabin fever, especially during the weekdays,’ says Lee Owen, director at Hays Accountancy & Finance. ‘Although your weekends will also look completely different right now, try and plan some activities even if they’re virtual to signify a change to the working week. There are so many online activities you can join in with, such as online theatre, virtual quizzes and games to keep yourself occupied.’

This article was first published in Student Accountant

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