OK, so this whole lockdown malarky has gone on for a lot bloody longer than I expected, there is no doubt that we have all gone a little bit nuts, in our own way. But that’s fine. We’re only human and it’s certainly no fun being stuck in one place. But unlike the whales in Seaworld, we have opposable thumbs, and the worldwide web so we can do something other than swim around in our metaphorical glass pools (houses).
So, in reference to the title of this blog, DO something, and don't wait to be a victim of circumstance. Bad shit happens to us all but it’s how you deal with it that defines you. If you can't control something, fuck it, don't worry about it. But, one thing we do know is that if you take control of a situation to the best of your ability then it helps ease that feeling of helplessness which can be a major cause of stress and anxiety in all of us. Hence the title, grab life by the balls.
We can do this people, and seeing as it’s mental health week we wanted to chat to you to put a little positive light on the matter and make sure you realise you are not alone. We are all in this shit together, and it will get better, trust me. Here are some things we hope will help you keep your mind from exploding before things get back to normal.
LET'S GET LOOSE
And by that, I don’t mean get drunk and sing ABBA songs, (although if you're like me you will have been doing your share of that in lockdown). I mean let's do some downward dog, and not the kinky kind either. Ignore Boris being indecisive on tv, turn your phone on silent and enjoy a bit of you time with some yoga. Honestly, you’ll be surprised to see how good you can feel after some simple movement and breathing exercises.
Good for your mind, body and soul, yoga is something that anyone can take up to improve strength, flexibility and relax. In the video below, our boy Nelly gives us a demo on some basic yoga moves, as well as showing off his annoyingly god-like physique. Enjoy.
LET THAT SHIT GO
Ok so meditating can seem like a pretty daunting task, especially if like me you move at a million miles an hour all the time and find it hard to sit still or concentrate on anything apart from what snack you are gonna have next. BUT it’s actually really fucking great. Once you have got past the awkward stage of sitting with your own thoughts, which again, can be really hard to start off with, it does get easier and you will start to feel the benefits after time. It really does do wonders for our fuzzy brains and boosts mental health while helping you to chill the fuck out. But as with all things, consistency is key.
The other thing to remember is that you are not supposed to be able to completely still your mind straight away like some mountain top zen master. You will probably never be able to do this (unless you go and train with that master on the mountain for like loads of years). It's fine for your mind to wander, the point is not to worry about it. Just focus on your mantra or whatever again when you realise.. Easy. Just try it for 5 or 10 minutes a day and you’ll see.
Anyway, the legendary Bee has kindly put together a wonderful meditation video which explains this stuff much better than I can. Breathe guys, you got this.
DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY
Now, it is well documented that yoga and meditation are two simple yet effective ways you can improve your mental wellbeing and stay healthy and positive. But because we are so nice, we have also put together a list of some other easy ways you can look after your fine selves.
1. Get the bloody basics right John
Routine is key. You are a Queen/King. Your body is a temple, blah blah… and you need to look after that fine piece of ass. So here are some simple steps to follow on the reg. Drown your sorrows in H20, we must always stay hydrated people. Especially us Brits now the sun is out and we are all getting excited that it is over 10 degrees. Get outside, take yourself, your dog, your mum or even your rabbit out for a walk.
For a lot of us (in the U.K mainly), these few days of the sun could well be the last chance we get for some vitamin D in a while, so lap that shit up (responsibly). Just don’t do what loads of people are doing right now and fry your pasty nipples off in the vain hope of getting a bronze glow in a day.
Take a long hot shower, or a bath, if you have one. Pamper yourself. Bury your head in a book, you might actually learn something new. Basically just do all the shit you usually take for granted or don’t have time for, cos you’ll be kicking yourself when this is all over if you don’t.
2. Keep moving Janet
Yes, you’ve heard it a million times but it doesn't make it less true. Get off your ass and do some exercise! You don’t have to be a hardcore pole vaulter or an Olympic squatter. It could just be a few stretches in the morning or even a little dance around the kitchen while you’re making dinner using those wine bottles as weights.
You could simply go for a jog around the park or take a long walk to clear some cobwebs away. You don’t need to feel pressured to be running those 5K challenges, or getting a 6 pack by the end of lockdown, we aren’t all doing it for the gram. But just get that frame moving and it will do you wonders. If you don’t like running, there are endless circuits, classes and workouts online. Like yoga and meditation, exercise has proven physical and mental health benefits. You don’t need to go nuts, just get up and move. I’ll say it again, consistency is key.
3. Talk to people (virtually, or at a distance of course)
Zoom is everyone's new best friend. You may well, like me, have spent most of the last few weeks on and off zoom calls for work, but for more and more people it is becoming a way to socialise with loved ones instead of just jumping on the blower. Although all the work calls might be driving you crazy, zoom, facetime, google hangouts, house party and other platforms can be a good thing for your mental health at the mo. Some people are even lucky enough to be able to meet up with a small number of people now if they practice social distancing so why not arrange a zoom call or even a distanced meet up at the park with a drink or without one? Get yourself a bottle of gin, whiskey or don’t, and just enjoy chatting shit to your mates or your parents.
If you fancy something a little different and want to chat to the tru crew (and even have the chance to win some dolla), look out for our Tru Wants To Be A Millionaire quiz. It’s pretty damn good TV, a chance to talk to people virtually at least, and it’s a fun night's entertainment with no price tag.
4. Read some shit, learn some shit.
Yes you heard me, I know most people think reading is only something weirdos do nowadays but it bloody well isn't and if you think that then stop it. Right now. Books are amazing and although some people find it easier to concentrate on reading than others, I truly believe that as long as you are fortunate enough to be blessed with the gift of vision and the ability to read, anyone can plough through a book if they find a good one that interests them.
And if reading really isn't your thing there are plenty of other ways to learn stuff and expand your mind, online tutorials, ted talks, audiobooks, podcasts of every flavour, webinars, forums, games, dangerous home science experiments, and religious cults… (ok so maybe not the last two)
Learn an instrument or a language, break a world record, start a business, get a qualification, or do something all spiritual and “conscious” like learning to hula hoop whilst walking the slackline and eating a vegan hotdog.
You get the point, the message here is basically to work your mind, many studies have shown that people who engage in different hobbies or study different fields are more creative and better problem-solvers, and probably happier (though I might have just made that last one up). You can read more about this stuff in Matthew Syed’s book, Rebel Ideas, which is a cracker.
For ideas for other stuff to keep you inspired, check out “Fucking Good News” the 1st in our Good News series on our Tru News Channel (blog). Don’t be surprised, there is actually some good news out there as well! Share it with your mates to cheer them up.
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