Normally, the new year brings excitement and hope about what it might bring. But this year, even with the vaccine and the prospect of brighter days on the horizon, we find ourselves still in lockdown.

After many months of restrictions, financial struggles, anxiety, and not being able to see our families and friends, we can be forgiven for feeling fed up and flat.

But if you feel tired and fed up right now, know that this is a normal response to having to deal with anxiety and uncertainty for so long, and you’re definitely not alone in that feeling that way.

So how do you pick yourself up and move forward in times like these?

Here are our tips on how to stay resilient in tough times.

Be kind to yourself

If you’ve been giving yourself a hard time about struggling to work from home while homeschooling the kids, or you’ve been meaning to do loads of things during lockdown and you just haven’t got around to doing them, be kind to yourself. If you feel tired, have a break. Know that nobody expects you to be a perfect and productive parent or some kind of superhuman during a pandemic. Your best is enough.

Look after your wellbeing

In stressful times, it’s more important than ever that you look after yourself. Eat well, take some exercise, and make sure you get enough sleep. For healthy meals on a budget, follow our Facebook page and give some of our lovely Ali’s recipes a try. She uses food from our #ReduceWaste food project-remember you are very welcome to come along and get what you need on a Monday and Wednesday.

Don’t spend too much time on social media or watching the news

There’s nothing wrong with staying up to date with what’s going on, but if you read negative stories and argumentative social media comments, and watch the latest depressing headlines day in, day out, it will really affect your mood. Try listening to uplifting music, reading positive books, or watching comedies on TV to give you a bit of a lift.

Find ways to reduce stress

After feeling anxious, worried, and stressed for so long, many of us desperately need to find ways to relax. Find something that works for you. Everyone is different. Some people relax by going for a walk or run, and for some, it’s curling up with a good book that reduces your stress levels. Find your thing, and do it for at least 10 minutes each day.

Stay connected with others (and no, it doesn’t just have to be on Zoom!)

While we are truly blessed to have technology that has allowed us to stay connected with the people we know and love, Zoom fatigue is a thing. Video calls are great, but there are other ways to stay connected too. Write a letter to a friend or family member who can’t get online, or just pick up the phone. Staying connected makes us all feel loved, cared for, and supported.

Start a new routine

If lockdown has you feeling fed up, bored, and lacking in motivation, why not make yourself a new routine?

The word ‘routine’ doesn’t seem exciting, but you could use the lockdown as a chance to start new things and structure your week with things to look forward to.

Sunday might be your pamper day. Friday evening might be virtual drinks with friends. You might even get around to reading that book or painting that room, which you’ve been meaning to do for ages.

And did you know that Big Local has some things going on that you can get involved in, even though we are still in lockdown?

Our Ali has some online coffee get-togethers going on every Wednesday from 11am-12pm and Thursday from 1.30pm-2.30pm where you can meet other people in your neighbourhood, have a cuppa together, and chat.

As well as our coffee get-togethers, local resident and writer, Michelle Robinson, will be hosting some creative writing for wellbeing workshops on three consecutive Thursdays starting on Thursday 28th January.

If you are interested in taking part in either of the activities, message Ali via our Facebook page, or text 07864 721 616.