Many of us will be feeling heightened emotions at the moment; anxiety, loneliness, sadness, hopelessness, stress, and a lack of motivation. These are all normal and you are not the only one feeling like this. We are in the midst of an unparalleled situation for our generation and so it's okay if you're not on top form. There is a lot going around on social media about 'living your best pandemic', with daily exercise or yoga routines and baking bread galore. These are things that can be really beneficial to your mental health but they can also be detrimental if you are not feeling up to them. If all you feel capable of is sitting on the sofa and binge watching your favourite television show, that's okay! You can go out for that walk tomorrow. The key to looking after your mental health is to make sure you are not putting too much pressure on yourself; if you're finding everything a bit overwhelming, then take baby steps and try to feel comfortable with one change before you make another one.
Below is a relaxation technique that can help if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Give yourself the time to do this practise as many times as you need to help yourself calm down and feel grounded again.
First, relax your arms. Take one or two deep breaths, take a deep breath, hold for a while, then exhale slowly. Next, stretch out your forearms, clench your fists, appreciate the feeling of your hands; try your best to relax your hands and experience the feeling of relaxation and warmth, and repeat; then bend your arms, tighten the muscles of your arms, feel the tension of your arms, relax thoroughly, experience the feeling of relaxation, and repeat.
Second, relax your feet. Tighten your toes and hold them for a while, then relax your feet thoroughly, and repeat; relax your calf muscles: push your toes up, heels down, press back, tighten your calf muscles, hold for a while, relax thoroughly, and repeat; relax your thigh muscles: press your heels forward and downward, tighten your thigh muscles, hold for a while, relax thoroughly, and repeat.
Finally, relax your head. Wrinkle your forehead muscles, hold for about 10 seconds, then relax thoroughly for 5 seconds. Close your eyes tightly for 10 seconds, then relax thoroughly for 5 seconds. Turn your eyeballs counter-clockwise, speed up, then turn clockwise, speed up, and finally stop and relax for 10 seconds. Clench your teeth for 10 seconds, then relax thoroughly for 5 seconds. Press your tongue against your palate with force and relax thoroughly after 10 seconds. Press your head back hard, stop for 1 second and then relax for 5 seconds. Tighten your chin, tighten inward with the neck, hold for 10 seconds and relax thoroughly. Repeat the head relaxation exercise.