On our podcast ‘Tales That Tethr’, tethr Founder & CEO Matt Zerker interviews entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, and regular people about what is means to be a man, the challenges that modern men face, and how to overcome challenges and live life in a more connected and authentic way.
How To Cope If There’s Another Lockdown
The idea of another lockdown is daunting, even terrifying, for people who struggled through it before. As humans, we are social creatures, and being forced to remain socially isolated for extended periods of time can wreak havoc on our emotions. The Delta Variant of COVID-19 is spreading at rapid rates and is leading up to the increased possibility of another lockdown. Keeping in mind how things went for you the first time, it never hurts to have a few other reminders that will help you prepare and cope if another lockdown happens again.
Although you will be spending the majority of your time physically alone in the event of another lockdown, this does not mean you can’t have any social contact. You are going to have to put in a little more effort than the organic way you would bump into someone in person, and that’s where things can get tricky. You will have to reach out as much as you can. Call your friends or family and Facetime or Zoom. You may feel like you are alone or that no one wants to hear about your problems. Rather than withdrawing yourself and internalizing your emotions, look into ways to make talking easier. Try to keep in mind that someone else probably feels the same way as you and might need someone to check in on them. Try to lift yourself up and be that person for someone if you can’t do it for yourself.
If you find yourself at the point where you feel like your mental health has gotten out of control, try not to deny it. You’ll only be denying yourself the opportunity to help yourself get better. This is often one of the hardest things for men to overcome since there is often shame associated with vulnerability. Remember, seeing a professional for your mental health is the same thing as seeing a professional for your physical health. Even during lockdown where you can’t see someone in person, there are options for online therapy that can get you connected to a licensed therapist who you can talk to via video chat. Getting help and learning to cope may be difficult, but there are options available if you’re able to reach out.
When you’re stuck in lockdown, anything that keeps you busy and passes the time will help keep your mind at ease. Exercising will help you feel good about the way you are spending this time, knowing that you are being productive rather than doing nothing all day. Think of the lockdown as a sort of hiatus from your other responsibilities and an opportunity to focus on your own self-improvement. Exercising regularly is also proven to help increase your serotonin levels, which will be extremely beneficial in combating the depression you may be feeling from isolation.
Gyms would likely be closed again in the event of another lockdown, so you also would have an opportunity to start a home workout routine. This is great if you’re the type of person who gets anxious over going to the gym and working out in front of other people. Don’t worry about trying to get a whole home gym setup going, especially if you don’t have a lot of space to work with. You can do plenty of exercises with your own body weight, and things around your home can act as weights like soup cans or milk jugs.
Lockdown and social distancing mandates do mean that you aren’t able to go to certain places, however it doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. Being outside improves your mental health quite a bit and helps you feel more connected to the world. As long as the weather is nice, spend as much time outside as possible. You’ll feel less cooped up and avoid the “cabin fever” effect that being inside for too long can bring.
As we talked about earlier, consider bringing your exercise routine outside. Start the day off with some yoga at sunrise, go for a run, or walk a local hiking trail. Keep a mask in your pocket in case you run into other people on the trails and can’t keep enough safe distance between you. Check your local campgrounds and if they’re open, consider going on a short camping trip. Remember to bring enough supplies though, as essential items are likely to sell out quickly during these times.
Limit News Exposure
Staying informed and keeping yourself updated on government mandates is more important than ever during a global pandemic. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with information, statistics, political arguments, and bad news during these times. It’s difficult to stay optimistic when you are surrounded by numbers of hospitalizations and rising confirmed cases.
Although it’s important to be aware, you can still be careful and knowledgeable without dwelling on exactly how many people are hospitalized in a given week. Stick to looking for the updates that are need-to-know. There are so many sources of information that having to sift through it all to find reliable information can make you anxious as well. If it’s hard or triggering for you to keep up and sift through the essential updates, have a friend keep an eye out for you and send them to you.
Have A Routine
Keeping your routine as close to normal as possible helps break up the monotony of having nothing to do every single day. It’s incredibly easy to fall into a pattern of “why bother” when you have nowhere to go, and no plans to see anyone. Letting your personal appearance and your surroundings get out of control can actually worsen your depression and anxiety. When you look in the mirror and see a disheveled appearance every day, your own self-respect can decline to the point that it becomes habitual to talk down to yourself. Waking up and heading to the kitchen to get your coffee and being faced with 3 days worth of a mess is essentially you staring at your own lack of motivation. Then you could end up feeling overwhelmed with the thought of having to clean up such a big mess. Once this cycle begins it becomes harder and harder to break.
If you’re not good at maintaining a routine, it can be helpful to use a calendar to write it down. Put your daily tasks like showering, shaving, washing dishes, etc on each day and cross them off as you go. Keep your calendar somewhere visible, that way you can’t ignore it. Dry erase calendars for your refrigerator are great for this, since they’re large, can be placed at eye level, and are reusable. tethr's newest feature the Emotional Fitness Tracker will help to check in daily as well.
If you’re having a difficult time coping with another lockdown, online communities are a great way to connect with other people who are experiencing similar issues. The free Tethr app is a perfect place to start making connections, supporting other guys that want to talk, and getting support for yourself. On the app, you’ll be able to participate in open forums and connect one-on-one with the people you meet. You’ll also have the option to join the accountability pods program which is perfect for helping you build relationships, check in on each other daily and maintain those routines.
Never underestimate the power of a positive mindset, and don’t feel bad if you need some assistance to get there. While another lockdown would most certainly be a pain, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it has been previously if you take the right precautions. Taking care of yourself and staying connected with other people will make a world of difference.