Mental wellbeing for young people



Kate Middleton photo Kate Middleton · 16 Feb, 2021

So how do we cope with Pandemic Pressure - and especially despair and moments we just don't feel like doing ANYTHING. Kate explains why PRODUCTIVITY is the thing to ponder...

Okay, so here you are, you're in the middle of global pandemic and you can't change it. And imagine with me (I mean, you may not have to imagine this, this might actually be where you are right now) but imagine it's a really rubbish day, just one of those roller coaster emotion pandemic days where it just feels really grim and hopeless and frustrating and you're just done with the whole thing and you can't even face getting out of bed.

Have you had any of those? I have definitely had some of those, most of us had. Because the thing is pandemic life pushes us into this zone in our minds where we can just be totally overwhelmed. There is so much going on and so much demand, and so much we can't control, and so much we can't do the way we would like to be doing it. It's so frustrating and anxiety provoking, and stressful and demanding, and we're just exhausted and your brain needs a break, you're tired because this is tiring. But, problem is there is no break from global pandemic and you do have to go to classes and get your work done and live life. We have to keep going, we have to figure out how to tread water until the tide turns. So, this is all about how you lift your mood and feel better in those roughest, roughest, moments and it's about productivity.

Now, productivity is about playing with your mind's need for control. Like we all have built into us as human beings a need to feel like we can influence the world around us, we need to feel like we're achieving something, we are getting somewhere, our day has been worth getting up for just in some tiny way. It's really hard just feeling like you're killing time or that things have been pointless or that you've got nothing done, it's like when you're sat trying to write an essay and you've been there for hours and hours and you've only got one sentence and even that's not very good, it's so frustrating.

So in those moments in pandemic when you feel really low, doing something that helps you feel productive, helps you feel effective, that's gonna lift your mood. And even better in this time of chaos and lack of control and just generally things being messy and all over the place, if it helps you feel like you've restored order to something, that's gonna help even more.

So it could be about tidying something, picking up the towels off your floor, folding some clothes, sorting out a drawer in your room, pairing your socks off, that kind of stuff. Restoring calm from chaos will really, really help.

Or it might be more about crafts. Think about like doing puzzles or painting, or building Lego models, something that's about bringing something together, achieving something feeling that you've got somewhere.

Or maybe it's just stuff that you're doing or you would do in a normal day (you might not feel like it today), but it is stuff like getting dressed and bothering to do it properly. So like when's the last time you actually did your hair, put a bit of makeup or made yourself look nice? 'Cause I know like who's gonna see you, what's the point? But the point is sometimes doing those things and doing them really properly actually helps to lift your mood.

And the thing is productivity is on my list first: it's likely the first thing to try if you're feeling really rubbish because it demands the least of you but often has the best payback in terms of how it makes you feel better. So look, on a rubbish day pairing off all your socks is not gonna solve global pandemic but you will be surprised how it does just make you feel a bit more like, 'hmmm, maybe actually I could face something today' and maybe that lift is gonna be enough for you to do something else. Go out for a walk, phone a mate, get some work done, who knows?

So these are good practical techniques to play with. And remember, it doesn't need to be the big stuff. In fact sometimes it's about allowing yourself to do the things that feel a bit self-indulgent or you even feel a bit guilty about.

So let's say that you're feeling just flat and exhausted and fed up and you're thinking 'oh, I'm just gonna have a pyjama day I can't face getting dressed today'. How do you get the best out of that? Make it a productivity win. So don't just do it because you can't be bothered and you just lollop around and before you know the whole day's gone and you feel even worse 'cause you just think, 'well, that's a waste of a day'. In the morning when you feel like that think 'right, I am gonna nail a pyjama day. Here's what I'm gonna do’: make a plan, write it down. What are you gonna watch? Which box set are you gonna binge? Which chocolate bar are you gonna have? Which sweats are you gonna wear? Who are you gonna phone and share some of the moments with? What's your pyjama day gonna involve? How much longer are you gonna sleep in? What radio are you gonna listen to while you do it?

I don't know what works for you, but nail it, do it really properly. Turning those little things into productivity moments will help lift your mood. So give it a go, and I hope it helps you feel better.


Is there POTENTIAL in the midst of PRESSURE?

Is there POTENTIAL in the midst of PRESSURE?