Things not to do and how to not do them during the lockdown.

It goes without saying, it is a really strange time currently. We are all having to adjust to a drastic change, a completely different way of living, working and communicating. There are loads of ideas and resources out there encouraging you to do particular things, but it’s important to acknowledge that loneliness, being at home, and experiencing uncertainty can sometimes lead to us doing things we wouldn’t usually do.
So here are 5 things to avoid during this lockdown:

  1. Do not over-shop

It’s easy to get caught up in all the panic-buying happening around the UK at the moment, and a lot of that panic is fueled by the fear of the unknown. However, it’s not just super-markets that some of us are turning to. It could be that you’ve internalised that fear or anxiety, it could be a result of boredom, or even restlessness and so you’re buying clothes, household items or general things online that you don’t need or want. Just because there is a sale/free delivery being offered it does not mean you need to buy it. Just step back and ask yourself if this is an impulsive or reactive purchase. You can try the following:

  • Have a spending limit per week
  • Making an essential and non essential shopping list
  • Being thrifty and upcycling items
  • Organising clothes/items and deciding if there are things you can donate
  • Distracting yourself with another activity when you feel like buying something
  • Blocking adverts on your browser or social media so there is no temptation
  • “Forgetting” your card or PayPal details on your browser so that it is not as easy or quick to buy something
  1. Balance over binging

It’s super important to have downtime, watch an episode of your favorite show, join a Netflix Party, or play virtual games with friends and family online, however it is important to be aware of when to stop. Maintaining balance during these times are crucial for your wellbeing, and it can be a slippery slope when you find yourself in the same position hours later when binge watching, binge scrolling or binge playing. If you’re working/studying from home, it is important to have a good routine, you can find out more information here. If you are someone who is generally at home, it is still important to give yourself a routine to stick to as leaving your home is now limited. Try implementing the following:

  • Set yourself “down time” limits throughout the day, i.e. only checking social media at certain points of the day, or only playing a game for 30 minutes
  • Planning your activities when on a break or during your free time, such as calling a particular friend, or catching up on messages
  • Utilise in-app restrictions such as allowing yourself to use Instagram for only 1 hour in a day, or in-phone settings such as putting in usage limits after 9pm.
  • Hold yourself accountable by having daily check-ins with someone you trust or knows you well to speak with about your day and what you did
  • It’s easy to sit on the sofa and watch TV, but change it up by doing some stretches, extra ibaadah or gentle exercise
  1. Do not overeat or undereat

For some people, this will be a real struggle and may be part of their disordered eating, if you are one of these people, this does not apply to you specifically, but take the good if you can and remember there is no judgement. Whilst at home, it is super easy to keep reaching for the snacks, seeking comfort in food or not eating at all, this can be particularly difficult if you have had to change who you live with. For example, you are now alone and therefore eat more or less or if you’ve moved back home with family there may be more food available which can facilitate overeating, or be anxiety provoking for people who do not enjoy eating around others. Either way, try to stick to your business as usual ways of eating and don’t forget, as a consequence of these unprecedented times, it will be normal to gain or lose weight. Do not shame yourself for it. Instead, try the following:

  • Plan your meals to ensure they include all the food groups and include a good balance for what your body needs.
  • Put in boundaries with yourself if you’re living alone, or with other people to ensure there is mutual respect around your diet and eating habits
  • Have a cut off point for food around 1-2 hours before you sleep to allow your body to digest and rest well whilst sleeping
  • Eat what you need always, and eat what you want in moderation.
  • All of these apply to drinks! Try to avoid drinks with a lot of caffeine or sugar in general but specifically after a certain time at night. Also remember, drinks do not replace foods.
  1. Do not over-exercise or under-exercise

Movement is important but it should not be excessive. Your body needs movement, and your pulse needs racing, especially as the majority of us are likely to be sitting in one place throughout the day. However, it is important to be mindful that if you are someone who struggles with weight and already exercises for hours on end, don’t extend that time just because you can and go into overkill. If you are working from home, there’s a big chance that your posture is gonna need a lot of work, so be sure to do stretches every hour. You can also try the following:

  • Evaluate your current level of activity and plan accordingly, i.e. start on low-moderate levels if you’re usually inactive, or try different exercises that engage different parts of the body if you’re someone who is generally active.
  • Try to get a healthy amount of steps in considering the circumstances
  • Stretching is very important to open up your chest, relax your shoulders and release tension in areas of your body
  • When following an exercise video, be mindful that no one has the same body so work at a level that works for you and be particularly careful if you have physical injuries
  1. Maintain Social Contact

It is really easy to get absorbed into social media, watching movies and TV shows, but having social contact with close friends and family is really important during these times. Whether that is by calling them, or using video calling apps to actually see them too. Even with the people in your home, it’s important not to take advantage of the limited time you have with them, you might regret not spending time with them when this has all blown over. It’s easy to get absorbed into a virtual world, so make sure you pull yourself back into reality by spending time with real people. Try the following:

  • Have tea breaks, and meals or general chats with family members throughout the day
  • Schedule calls with friends and family that you haven’t spoken to in a while
  • Break up your day with speaking to people in your home, or those you see/speak to regularly and can’t due to the pandemic
  • If you have a garden, and notice your neighbour out too, strike up a conversation with them or even the next time you get a delivery, but remember to maintain the 2 metre distance

We acknowledge that all of this is definitely a lot easier said than done but it is important to focus on what we can control and do what we can to keep ourselves physically and mentally safe. As health and public services are stretched, it’s important to practice social responsibility by practicing personal responsibility, personal awareness and discipline. At Inspirited Minds we are praying for your ease in the current discomfort, your ability to have complete tawakkul among all the uncertainty, and that you and your families are safe, Ameen. Remember, we are here for you. You can get help on our website, and even #AskIM. We’re also doing regular check-ins and Lives on social media so be sure to check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Meanha Begum

Meanha Begum

Meanha Begum is currently studying a degree in Islamic Psychology where she has been given the blessing to explore her passions, Islam and Psychology. She relishes in the insight of an Islamic perspective to incorporate into psychology, to help those who have never been given a chance that every devout muslim, and non muslim deserves. Which is why she considers Inspirited Minds to be a huge blessing in her life. She has been brought up in a heavy western environment, where Islam was once far from her reach, but through trials and tribulations, she has managed to come out stronger and closer to Allah than ever before. It's simply her experiences, ideas, and open nature that pushes her towards wanting to help others out of their vulnerable places, through their journey, and into happiness, with tranquil souls.

2 Comments

  • Idrees Hassan says:

    Read Qur’aan as much as you can with meaning.
    Follow the “Sunnah” of our Prophet PBUH.
    Self introspect oneself, where we went wrong.
    Chant Astaghfar as much as you can.
    Try to reach “Ihdinas siratalmustakheem”.

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