When the outside feels hostile and inside leaves you in utter despair — here is what you can do to help fight those feelings.

By Balthazar Malevolent


1. Log off

Not forever, not even for a long time if you can't but close your laptop at least once a day, lock your phone and leave it in a drawer while you're doing something else. While it's important to keep up with current events and discourse — especially right now — the impact that overstimulation level has on our brains is detrimental to our mental wellness. It's not possible for most of us to stop using our devices altogether but we can try making a concerted effort to cut it down.

Aid your mental health in lockdown.

2. Reduce device usage

To help you with it, download the Forest app; it makes your phone unusable for a set amount of time, while growing a virtual tree. The user receives a coin for every tree which is grown. Collect enough "money," and help developers to grow a real tree. Tackling addiction to the devices and climate change in one fell swoop.

3. Put your body on

Whether it's a dance around your room, a long walk, or Adrienne yoga (the biggest cult since Scientology), regular physical activity increases mental well-being significantly. That includes alleviating anxiety symptoms, depression, and improving self-esteem or withdrawal from society. Endorphins: The hormone's hell.

4. Review your self-care practices

Ask yourself: are they really caring methods? Or do they have mechanisms to cope? If you're worried that you're falling into the coping area, e.g. wasting money you don't have on shopping therapy, indulging too much in short-term remedies like alcohol, it's time to sit down and do a fast reassessment. Write down the habits and their influence beyond the short-term immediate consequences.

5. Taking on new ones

Try to cultivate a 'set' of achievable, accessible self-care techniques that you can regularly make time for or rely on when your energy is low. From a long shower to a 10 minute guided meditation or breathing exercise, that could be anything. Grounding strategies will help you re-center and build a mental "touchstone" when you feel like the world around you is falling apart.

6. Renew your doctor's prescription on time

If you have some medicine — renew your prescription well before running out. In a pandemic, the last thing anyone needs is to drag themselves to the doctor while in the middle of the withdrawal process.

7. Take small, short-term projects forward

Think of projects that focus attention and produce something material, such as taking an hour to prepare a simple homemade meal or to plant seeds. These projects should not be complicated, taxing tasks but achievable tasks that leave you feeling fulfilled rather than exhausted.

8. Fix some sort of routine

Routine can sound repetitive but it can really help when you're mentally flailing. It's crucial to establish some sort of daily routine during the lockdown, where you can enjoy creative activities or indulge in things that make you feel good,. These certainly can not improve your material condition, but they can help you cope with depression and make it easier to handle anxiety.

9. Curate your feeds

If you are looking at social media, you might also build burner accounts that you can turn to when you feel absolutely overwhelmed. Keep them uncluttered and follow accounts devoted to sharing content that soothes your particular distress. You should look for something that works for you.

10. Seek to get rid of some remorse

This may be guilt because you're "not doing enough" or even guilt that lockdown may have eased some tension in the opposite direction. Whether it's sadness, joy or even intense boredom, repeat to yourself that what you feel is valid. And then start expressing those emotions and take good care of yourself.

And the last one extra tip from Rick Owens: read books. Reading books is the only way to become or to carry on being creative. If you don't read, you will not be capable to invent something new, you will more likely (even subconsciously) come up with something that has already been created.

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