By Vicky Witts | Advice Editor
With a new national lockdown in England beginning on the 5th of November and the Welsh ‘firebreak’ restrictions lasting until the 9th of November, it can seem like we are going to be living with coronavirus restrictions forever. This kind of thinking, although understandable and very common, can negatively impact your mental health and make lockdown seem even harder, and so, it is important to learn how to find the positives in the pandemic.
Make plans for the future
Even though the future seems unclear and unpredictable due to how quickly government restrictions and guidance is changing, planning for future events can give you something to look forward to and prevent feelings of disappointment or depression.
Creating lists of activities such as trips that you want to go on, places that you want to visit or things that you want to do when government restrictions are removed and you are allowed to, may have a positive impact on your mental health throughout the current or upcoming national lockdowns as it allows you to take a minute to ignore the stresses of the present day a be excited about the possibilities of the future.
It can also be exciting to hypothetically plan trips that you might one day take with your friends, making presentations of the things that you will visit, the places where you will stay and even how you will get there, as it can distract you if you are feeling trapped in one place due to the lockdown. Looking forward to the future can help keep you staying positive in the present.
Reflect on the past
Although looking forward to the future can help you stay optimistic throughout the pandemic, reflecting on things that you did in the past may also be beneficial. Whether it is something that you did before the pandemic, or just something that you did before the Welsh firebreak or second English national lockdown, reflecting on things that you enjoyed doing in the past should demonstrate that life in lockdown has not always been this way and will not be like it forever.
Reflecting on the things that you did before lockdown can also let you appreciate the freedoms and opportunities that you had before government restrictions so that when life finally returns to some normality, things that seemed normal or basic to you may feel more exciting and interesting.
Look for the positives
There have evidently been many things that happened throughout the year that have made it feel as if our time has been wasted being sat inside or only leaving to do a weekly food shop. Consequently, it can be easy to ignore some of the more positive things that might have happened and solely focus on the negatives, which does not help your mental wellbeing.
A good way to overcome feelings of disappointment about the year and all the things that you did not get to do is by looking at the little things that you did during lockdown that may have benefited you. For example, spending time alone may have made you appreciate and want to connect with your friends more, you may be using time in lockdown to learn a new skill or hobby, or maybe you have just taken time to relax and focus on your own mental wellbeing.
However you are currently feeling about the global situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to know that many people are feeling the same way, and that talking about how you feel can make the future seem a lot less bleak.