Tips for coping with lockdown Be kind to youself & others. Lower your expectations and practice self-acceptance. This is a time to accept everything about yourself, your current situation, and your life - without question, blame, or pushback. We're all truly doing the best we can in a very difficult situation. Limit social media and COVID-19 conversation. Information can be sensationalised and alarmist - or just overwhelming. Find a few trusted sources that you can check and set a time limit for yourself, on how much you consume. Notice the good in the world, the helpers.There is a lot of scary, negative information and it’s important to counterbalance the heavy information with the hopeful information. There are some amazing stories of generosity and courage emerging from this crisis. Identify that things that you can control. In moments of big uncertainty, control your little corner of the world. Organise your bookshelf or put together that furniture. When the bigger things are chaotic, this sort of activity can help to ground us. Find a long-term project to dive into. Now could be the time to learn that new skill, finish an old project or binge-watch a series. It doesn't have to be a huge commitment, but it may help to find something that keeps you busy and distracted - to enable you to take breaks from what’s going on in the outside world. Engage in repetitive movements. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting, colouring, painting, skipping) can be effective at self-soothing in moments of distress. Find an expressive art and go for it. Our emotional brain is very receptive to the creative arts, and it’s a direct portal for the release of feeling. Find something that's creative (drawing, dancing, music, singing) and give it your all! It’s also an effective way of helping children to express their feelings and communicate. Don’t feel creative? Don’t know how to do anything? Try YouTube or other similar channels and teach yourself to crochet a granny square. What about painting by numbers? Find lightness and humour in each day. There’s a lot to be worried about. Counterbalance this heaviness with something funny each day: for example animal videos on YouTube. Ask for help / Talk to people. If you have family, friends or work colleagues, they are available to you, even at a distance. If you’re having difficulty coping, talk to them – they may be experiencing similar things. They may not, but they may still be there to listen. There are also local and national helplines. Divide lockdown into manageable chunks. Take it moment by moment. Take each chunk one at a time and move through stress in pieces. Some people find planning their days helpful: what to wear, when to exercise, what exercise, what to cook for tea, who to phone / Zoom this evening etc. Remind yourself that this is temporary. It can be daunting to think of lockdown stretching ahead of us. Take time to remind yourself that although this is very difficult and we’re not sure when it’s going to end, it will pass. Try to find the lesson. Is there anything we can learn, in big or small ways, from this crisis? Did you need to ‘slow down’ before this all started? Can you work from home part of the week? Have you discovered that you love gardening? Are you determined to consume less?