• Team Furlonteer

How to be kind to yourself in 2020

It won’t come as a shock to anyone to hear that this year has been a struggle for us all. With a global pandemic to contend with, a lot of us have seen our carefully constructed worlds fall apart; with jobs, relationships and even our sense of self taking a hit. It’s no surprise to see that according to a global study, 2020 is considered the most stressful year ever.

Off the back of #WorldMentalHealthDay, here at Furlonteer we wanted to share some ways that you can be kinder to yourself, because it’s important to remember how much you and your mental health matter.

The words 'and breathe' as a pink neon sign on a wall of green plants

One Win a Day

Amber Coster, founder of Balpro, is on a mission to bring better mental health practices to the workplace via workshops and one-to-one coaching. One of her top tips is to get in just one small win a day: “Make someone feel good, listen to a colleague, do a great presentation, give someone help, go above and beyond somewhere, send an incredible sales email or blog, find a great event, tell your kid you love them and make them know you mean it. Just go and get one win".

Set Boundaries

With the ever-changing cycle of terror that we like to call ‘the news’ nowadays, it can be easy to get sucked into the void of constant scrolling. Take the news apps off your phone, mute words on social media (e.g. every possible spelling of ‘coronavirus’), unfollow or mute Facebook friends sharing triggering information. To start caring about yourself you have to set boundaries of what you can and want to consume. Explain to friends that you’re feeling a little anxious and not to mention the news around you if possible; people are nice, they will understand.

Treat Yourself

At the risk of sounding like a meme, life is hard right now, so it’s time to treat yourself. Want to order that pizza and not beat yourself up about it? Go for it. Fancy running a hot bath and staying in there for an hour watching Netflix? We cannot stress this enough, do it. Amber says: “Remember how you used to put the old Windows machines in defrag mode when they got slow? We did that so the computer could clear out and file all the useless stuff to make room for the real operating. Well, we should do the same for ourselves.” This year is tough-going, give yourself a break.

Get Some Rest

Cup of steaming tea or coffee next to a bed

Studies show that researchers found those who were sleep-deprived showed a 30% increase in anxiety levels. If you’re struggling to drift off try establishing a relaxing nighttime routine. Stop scrolling social media an hour before bed, apps like Offtime and Moment can ‘lock’ your phone meaning you can’t access certain

apps after a time chosen by you.

Get some exercise in during the day; even a long walk will help tire you out come evening. Apps like Calm and Headspace offer relaxing soundscapes, softly spoken stories and guided meditation to ensure you get your zzz's in.

Talk To Yourself Like a Friend

If your friend had been made redundant, was struggling at work or was feeling anxious about the world, you wouldn’t refer to them as a failure (at least, we hope you wouldn’t!). You need to start talking to yourself the way you would talk to a friend in the same situation. Flip the scenario on its head and imagine your problems are coming from a loved one and then react accordingly. Remember this every time you catch yourself beating yourself up.

We’re All In This Together

Sorry to get all High School Musical on you but the best thing to remember is we are all, literally, in this together. The pandemic has affected all of us, so for the first time, pretty much everyone in the world will understand when you say you’re feeling anxious or sad. Reach out to family, friends and colleagues, check in on each other and build up a support network so that you always feel like someone has your back. Always know there are fantastic, dedicated services available for when you’re feeling low.

Feeling better? Dance it out to some of Furlonteer's favourite songs! Or if you find that you're struggling, please reach out to Mind or the Samaritans for some extra help and advice.

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