How to chase lockdown blues away

April 03, 2020

WE are now on the third week of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and many are getting paranoid while being locked down in their homes as ordered by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Actually, there are many ways to chase lockdown blues away – watch your favorite Korean drama, do movie marathon, browse the web especially the social network, or sing your heart out in your homes. Never mind your drinking buddies for the meantime since we’re in ECQ and there’s an ongoing liquor ban.

During this crisis, maintaining a positive outlook is more important.

* Play your music. Music can lift our mood. It has always had great power to soothe and calm our nerves.

Sing your heart out, whether you’re out of tune or not, don’t worry, you’ll learn to hit the right notes in no time. Did you know that singing is a good exercise for your lungs?

* Log your activities. Another good habit is to help positive thoughts stay in your memory. Before you go to sleep, avoid your phone and grab a notebook or diary instead. Think back over the day and write all the things you’ve enjoyed.

Write also what you want to do the next day, whether you will cook your favorite dish, declutter your house or do gardening.

* Exercise. Try Pilates or t'ai chi. These moves help you relieve stress and trim some fats and calories.  

* Meditate or do yoga. Since it’s quiet in the neighborhood, this could be the best time to meditate or do yoga. While thinking of the negative past, why not focus on the present. Wellness experts call this mindfulness.

One of the benefits of mindfulness is that you can do it by yourself at home. You can play soft music or instrumentals while doing meditation.

You can also download apps like Zoom or Skype if you want interaction on this. 

Here’s how to do mindfulness yoga.

-- Sit somewhere comfortable, but on an upright chair, not a sofa.

-- Concentrate on the weight of your feet on the floor.

-- Listen to your breathing. Do 'breathe in' and 'breathe out' 10 times.

-- Look at, and concentrate on, something still — the view from the window or a picture on the wall.

-- Sit like this for five minutes, aware of your body and surroundings.

Sometimes while meditating, depressing thoughts may come into your head. Picture them as though they were on a big billboard and a strong wind is about to knock it down.

Next week is Holy Week already. You can do this again as you pray and meditate.

* Get more sleep. You may find it difficult to easily get sleep during summer but this is important to reduce your stress and keep the mind working well.

As we age, we need more sleep than physical activities.

Medications mid-age adults are taking for high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes often have side-effects which make it hard to sleep.

Here’s how to get good sleep:

* Don't nap in the daytime if sleeping at night is a problem.

* Increase exercise during the day, do household chores whatever it takes. If you're active enough during the day, you'll feel ready for bed at the end of it.

* Make sure you have a dark, quiet bedroom (wear an eye mask or use ear plugs if you need to) and a cool, but not cold, bedroom.

* Avoid drinking coffee or any drinks with caffeine late at night.