Keeping morale up
It’s seemed harder to keep morale up with each lockdown. Almost everyone I know has found this one in particular much more difficult than the others. I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve been doing that have helped to keep up morale.
For nearly a year now, I’ve felt like I spend my life either talking about going for walks, or going for walks.
Even though the novelty of the daily walk wore off last spring, I still think it’s a really important thing to do. Sometimes I really don’t feel like it, but the fresh air definitely lifts my mood and being outside helps my eyes to relax after spending the day looking at a screen, and I’m always glad I went.
I certainly know my way around my local area better than ever before – I doubt I’ll ever forget the standard daily route I do. But getting out and moving even for a few minutes of the day genuinely makes a difference to my mood. If it’s not something you’re already doing fairly regularly, I’d recommend going for walks, especially as the weather should hopefully be getting nicer soon.
Keeping in contact is hard, especially so far into the pandemic: we’ve had to rely on technology for almost every aspect of life for a long time now. I can feel that my friends and family are desperate for a real-life social interaction.
But we’re not there quite yet. For the moment, video calls are my preferred way of talking to people, simply because it’s the closest thing to the human interaction that I actually want to experience.
I think texts are convenient (and probably still my most used way of communicating) but not that personal. Calls are good – it’s nice to hear someone else’s voice, especially if they live far away or you haven’t seen them in a while. But I find that seeing someone and hearing their voice, even just for a few minutes’ catch-up, makes me feel a bit closer to them.
Cards and gifts
I love sending people things, and when I receive post from my uni friends it really makes my day. I’m not talking anything expensive – most of the things I send are home-made.
This is a really simple way of feeling more connected with the people we can’t be with at the moment, and I always enjoy sending things to my friends and appreciate it when they send things to me. I can guarantee that even something as small as sending a card to a friend saying ‘I can’t wait to see you’ will brighten up both your and their day.
On a more personal level, I’ve found this especially comforting in the current lockdown. A close family member passed away recently, and I’ve found dealing with grief in lockdown hard. It’s been nice to know that someone has thought of me throughout the pandemic, but it means more that they’ve been there for me as I’m grieving, even when they can’t be there physically. It really has made a difference.
I promise that a small gesture will mean a lot, whether someone has said they’re struggling or not. It feels good to send things, too – I always look forward to the message from my friend saying they’ve received whatever I’ve sent them.
Life is very emotionally difficult at the moment. I hope you’re keeping in fairly good spirits. I was told recently that I should ‘treat myself like I treat my best friend’. Hopefully these points help you to do that and keep morale up for just a little bit longer.