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Even though it’s a very strange time right now, the pressure to be productive and busy is still very strong. With people posting pictures of their amazing baking, crafts or stories of working out for an hour every morning, it can feel like you have to keep up with everyone else just to feel worthy. But we’re going through unprecedented times, and it’s more than understandable not to feel up to being productive, especially for those looking after others. Read our tips for being kind to yourself during lockdown:

1. Let yourself rest

Resting is so important for our mental wellbeing and physical, but we can feel almost guilty for taking time to rest and do nothing, especially if you’re looking after someone.

Take half an hour, or any time you can spare, to just sit down in a comfy chair or lie down in bed and just be quiet and still. You could even do a guided meditation, mindfulness or just breathe deeply and notice the sounds around you. Try rain sounds, or this guided meditation, or this breathing practice.

2. Let yourself feel

These can be very anxious and scary times, and although it’s not good to dwell on negative emotions, it’s also understandable to feel them and let them out at times. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to someone about how you feel. If you feel upset, let yourself cry. Then put on your favorite TV show and have a laugh. Whatever you feel, it’s okay to feel it at this time. And don’t forget, you can call us on 0800 181 4118 (Monday – Thursday 9:30-4:30, Fridays 9:30 – 4:00) for advice, information or just a friendly voice. Click here for some other resources and helplines you can call.

3. Let yourself connect (and disconnect)

Giving friends a call, or chatting online can really help you realise you’re not alone with how you’re feeling. Once you open up to someone, it’s likely they will also open up to you. But remember, it’s also okay to have quiet time just to yourself. If you don’t feel up to talking to someone, you could try writing in a journal about how you feel. You don’t have to be good at writing, just let the thoughts flow out onto the page.

Remember you are not alone at this time. Taking care of yourself is incredibly important, and remember that it’s okay not to be productive and busy all of the time. Let your body take rest and time to adjust to our current way of living.