Productivity Ninja’s share practical tips on coping with Lockdown Stress


In the UK, we’ve started 2021 with news of a third National Lockdown. Across the world, people are experiencing similar situations. Some countries have been in Lockdown for a few weeks now, some might have one looming on the horizon. The constant shift in circumstances, that feeling of instability, is a big trigger for stress.

Our Productivity Ninjas wanted to share some of their tips on how they’ve coped with previous lockdowns, which will hopefully help you in your current circumstances…

For mental wellbeing they suggest:

  • Getting outside, ideally in nature or the park, this helps me to regain my equilibrium.
  • Getting my family outside, they are nicer people afterwards… So am I
  • Gratitude journal to reflect on the good
  • I use the time to invest in my learning, relaxing, and building a better relationship with my family.

For fun they suggest:

  • Have a listen to Brene Brown’s podcast episode with Emily and Amelia Nagoski on Burnout about completing the stress cycle – really interesting!
  • Remembering to laugh. I love Frank Skinners Absolute Radio podcast.
  • I really enjoyed painting pumpkins for Halloween, will be doing more painting in my life (I can’t paint, I mean being creative with paint!)
  • Postive news magazine/ website to remind me there there is good going on in the world.
  • Find new ways to have fun, be creative

For self care they suggest:

  • A big one for me is slowing down. Accepting that ‘simple’ things take longer and have a higher cognitive load (like pick up milk for example). Recognising that I don’t actually want to sustain the pace I was at before lockdown. Adjusting to a new level of what ‘good’ and ‘done’ and ‘finished’ looks like.
  • Being kind to myself. I can’t do as much as usual. I can choose to be pissed off about that, or I can chose to be ok with that.
  • It’s been helpful to remember that stress is a fear based response. It’s designed to get us out of danger and into safety. So it’s helpful sometimes to think ‘what helps me to feel safe’? The things we naturally do for other people (or pets!) that we care for – feed them, nurture them, hug/stroke, talk in a soft voice, slow down, comfort, cup of tea, sit by a fire, put on some music, breathe… are all things that help signal safety to our brains to switch off the fight/flight stress response.
  • Time out. Recognising when we’re in lizard brain mode, and rather than pursuing the thing (argument, work, whatever), calling time out and saying “I’m/you’re/we’re not in the  space to talk about this right now. We need to come back to this when we’re in a better headspace” 

We’re all going through tough times right now, so try and keep in mind one of our key values: Human, not Superhero. We can only do as much as we can and we need to look after ourselves too (think of when you’re on a plane, the guidance is put your own osygen mask on before you help someone else).

Do you have any tips to share for what’s helped you through Lockdowns? We’d love to hear them.

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