5 Ways to Stay Positive During Repeated Lockdowns

A year ago, the future was uncertain, and we were all navigating uncharted waters with the mysterious new virus. 2021 paints a different picture. Shorter, snap lockdowns have become more common around the world, as nations buy more time to vaccinate their populations against the rapidly mutating variants of COVID-19. While technically shorter than the strict, months-long lockdowns that we survived last year, these shorter lockdowns somehow make us feel worse. It feels like walking through mud – especially when you’ve experienced and gotten used to the eased restrictions. If you’re feeling more frustrated, worried, or burnt out, you’re not alone. These emotions are completely valid, but it is also important to not let them overwhelm you. Here are a few ways we think you can stay positive during repeated lockdowns, and we hope they help make these uncertain times a little easier to get through.

Set boundaries

Doomscrolling through bad news on social media can increase your feelings of anxiety and depression. You might notice yourself losing your feelings of empathy and forget how to appreciate the positive things in your day.

Set boundaries for yourself on your consumption of bad news. It could be reading just the important updates at the end of the day, or just a couple of times a day. You could also follow that up with reading about the positive and uplifting things that happened around the world. This can help with alleviating the feelings of frustration and hopelessness that are more prevalent during lockdowns.

Find alternatives to your routine

Short lockdowns can be highly disruptive to your regular routines e.g. exercising at the gym. Routines are essential in making you feel like you’re in control of your life, something that is greatly affected when you’re forced into a lockdown.

Finding alternatives to your regular routines can help you regain that feeling of control and normalcy. If your gym is shut temporarily, try doing your exercise outdoors in a park or even at home. You might find it useful to invest in equipment that allows you to stick to your routine – especially if this new normal is here to stay.

Setting aside specific blocks of time to stick to your routine helps you avoid falling off the wagon and exacerbating negative feelings associated with lockdowns.

Set mini-goals

One common feeling that many of us share during lockdowns is the feeling of being unproductive. If you feel like doing something with the extra time on your hand due to the lockdown, you can set short-term goals for yourself. The extra pockets of time you have at the end of day or on weekends can be spent organising your wardrobe, finally getting to the small home fixes or even a short online course on something you’re interested in. For those who feel guilty for “wasting time”, setting and achieving these mini-goals can help you feel accomplished, and more importantly, make time pass faster.

However, it’s completely okay not to be productive during lockdowns. We are still going through a crisis, and you should not feel bad or inadequate if you aren’t productive. You can take this time to take a well-deserved break and focus on yourself if you need to.

Stay Positive during repeated lockdowns in Red, Rawbought's best-selling Je Dors short set pyjamas in Red

Savour the little moments

Spending more than a year struggling through a global pandemic surrounded by negativity can make you lose sight of the small things that make your day better. Making a concerted effort to do and focus on the positive elements in your day will help you see the silver lining in your current circumstances.

Lockdowns might mean that you can’t dine out at your favourite restaurant but you can spend a weekend trying new recipes at home with your partner or loved ones. Dress up for a night in, just for fun. Write down the things in your day that you’re grateful for. These small moments of happiness help more than you think to stay positive, lift your mood and keep intrusive thoughts of negativity and uncertainty at bay.

Embrace your emotions

Be truthful to yourself. Feeling negative emotions is completely okay, especially during a time of stress and crisis. It is difficult to stay positive and motivated all the time due to the uncertainty that this pandemic has brought us – and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over not doing so.

However, you should also ensure that you’re prioritising your mental well-being during these tough times. Ignoring and downplaying your struggles will only make things worse in the future. It’s important to show yourself some compassion.

If you feel like you might not be coping well, talk to a professional that you trust and take things easy.

We have lived through a global pandemic for more than year, persevering through huge shocks and changes to our lives as we knew it. Give yourself some much-deserved credit for making it through that and let it give you a sense of hope that you can get through this as well. This too shall pass.

Checking In on Your Goals for the Year

Checking in On Your Goals for the Year Woman sitting and wearing Je Dors Full Set PJ in chalky blue by Rawbought

The year that has been has taught us, if nothing else, that life is extremely unpredictable, and circumstances can change drastically in a heartbeat. If so, is there still any point to setting new year resolutions and goals anymore? Sure, there is. Setting self-development goals helps guide you on the path towards becoming a better version of yourself. As with every journey, checking in regularly on your progress is crucial to actually reaching your destination. It is important to check in on your goals for the year, preferably around the halfway mark, to see if you’re still on track to achieving them.

Review Your Progress

Look at the goals that you had set and ask yourself – are these goals too difficult or easy to achieve? Have you been putting in the work to achieve them? Are you still motivated about achieving these goals? Reach deep within yourself and answer them honestly. Setting aside time and headspace to check in with your progress allows you to take stock of your efforts – to see if you need to be putting in more or readjust your goals to fit your motivations better. One way you can track and review your progress is through regular journaling. It helps you keep a record of your daily habits and tasks, making it easier for you to revisit your actions and headspace over time.

Check In with Your Why’s

Often times we set goals without truly delving into why exactly we want to achieve them.  If you find that you haven’t been progressing as should, then you need to ask yourself why. Why you haven’t been doing so, and more importantly, why you set those goals in the first place. Your motivation that pushes you towards achieving your goals needs to be strong – you need to be fully convinced that achieving this goal will help you solve the issue that you’re facing. If your why’s aren’t strong enough, it will be extremely difficult for you to gather enough motivation to achieve your goals.

Set New Goals

Sometimes, you might find that your why’s are indeed strong enough and yet you haven’t made any progress on your goals. Why is that? You probably are not the same person as you were when you set the goals. Your circumstances might have changed drastically – i.e., your personal life, your health, your job etc., and that might have affected your ability and motivation to achieve the goals you set. Goals aren’t set in stone – they can always be adjusted or even rewritten. You might need some extra time to achieve your goal, or it might not even be relevant anymore for your current situation. Don’t be afraid to set new goals. It’s perfectly alright to change your goals to fit the current you better.

Goals are visions and ideas – they can come into existence at anytime and anywhere. You shouldn’t pressure yourself to set them at the beginning of the year and achieve them by the end. You can set and achieve your goals whenever you want to. Make sure that you have the right motivation to achieve those goals and that they help you grow into a better version of yourself that you will love.

How to Design Your Bedroom for Better Sleep

Location, location, location. Where you sleep matters as much as when and how you sleep – especially when you’re trying fall asleep and stay asleep. From temperature to smell and more, your sleeping environment serves as an important foundation for the quality of rest that you get. Here are some tips on how you can design your bedroom for better sleep.  

Keep It Cool

Cooler temperatures have been proven to be more conducive for sleep. This is because our bodies are programmed to experience a slight dip in temperature in evening. Having a cool bedroom when you sleep can help with regulating your body temperature as well as serving as a signal to your body that it is time for bed.

For those living in tropical climates, keeping your room cool will need some extra effort. Ensure that your bedroom is well-ventilated by opening a window for cool, fresh air to flow in or switching on a fan or the air conditioner. Switching on an air purifier can also help make sure that the air in your room is clean.

Keep It Dark

By nature, our bodies are designed to be awake during the day, when there’s light, and to be asleep, when it’s dark. Keeping your bedroom dark is more conducive for restorative sleep as it will be more in tune with our body’s natural circadian rhythm.

Invest in blackout shades and curtains that will help block out any natural or electric light (e.g., from street lamps or car headlights) from your windows. You can also go a step further and paint the walls of your bedroom in cool and neutral hues like blue, lavender and grey, to further evoke a sense of calm in your sleeping environment.

Avoid Electric Light

Using your phone in bed or falling asleep while we watch TV are some habits that we’ve all indulged in. They, however, are detrimental to your quality of sleep. The blue light that our electronic devices emit disrupt our body’s circadian rhythm at night, as it makes us feel more awake. This then makes it harder for us to fall asleep at night.

Put Sleep First

The pandemic has forced most of us to work from home for majority of the week, if not permanently. For those who don’t have a dedicated office space at home to work out of, it is very tempting to work from the comfort of our beds. Working from home has also blurred the lines of working and resting hours. A combination of these two factors means that your bedroom, meant to be a sanctuary for rest and relaxation, has turned into a place where your mind gets activated for work. 

This can affect your sleep quality as your mind is now conditioned to associate your room and bed with work and the stress that comes with it. By removing all elements of work from your bedroom, you can help your mind associate your bedroom with sleep and rest, allowing you to have a good night’s sleep.

Keep it Clean

Having a clean and neat room is not just good for hygiene purposes, it also has an indirect impact on your quality of sleep. Clutter in your room is distracting and can cause you to feel subconscious stress and anxiety. This may cause sleep disturbances, resulting in you having poor sleep and not feeling well-rested.

Clean your bedroom regularly and keep it neat – that means no more “laundry chair”. Fold your clean laundry and store them out of sight in your wardrobe. Keep your vanity and side tables free of clutter and dust. You can also use aroma and essential oils that are conducive for relaxation to keep your room smelling nice and fresh.

Invest in Good Quality Bedding

Your bed is the most important element in your bedroom. The mattress you lay on, the pillows you use and the blankets you drape all can have a direct effect on the quality of sleep that you get.

Invest in good quality bedding that complement your climate, sleeping posture and sleeping habits. This will help you feel comfortable while you sleep and wake up feeling well-rested and refreshed without any stiffness.

Take your time when designing your room for better sleep. Making gradual adjustments over time will make it easier for you to measure the impact on your quality of sleep and help you identify elements that you might want to tweak further.

Happy sleeping!