Living in London can be stressful at the best of times, and since the first lockdown in March 2020, that has only intensified. Stuck inside, unable to for a drink or a coffee, to hug friends, visit family or take a holiday. We know we’re keeping each other safe, but it’s pretty rubbish.
The important thing to bear in mind is that, if you are feeling down, stressed or anxious - you are not alone. It’s completely understandable to be feeling this way. With uncertainty, fear and isolation rife across the world, it’s hardly surprising that the government’s report on 2020’s mental health impacts found a significant increase in anxiety, depressive states and trouble sleeping. So you are sharing these feelings with the rest of the country (and probably much of the world).
The other vital thing is to remember to treat yourself with compassion - perhaps you do feel like drinking celery juice every day, organising all your photos and learning Japanese, and that’s great - but maybe you just feel like sitting in your pants and watching a whole season of Community. Be gentle with yourself and do what helps you feel calm.
Put down the phone and try something new
This guide has lots of good examples of how to reduce stress while you’re unable to go out, making islands of calm within your own four walls. There are lots of good resources out there, and if things feel really hard, there are people trained and ready to listen. You don’t have to deal with this alone.
There are lots of studies about the negative impact of too much doom-scrolling through social media, so try why not put down your phone for a few hours and try out some of these suggestions:
Chances are you already know Netflix, Prime and Disney+. If you haven’t already watched every single show, there are some real gems on there. If you have concerns you’re bingeing more than you would like, you could keep it a treat and allot yourself a set amount of time for viewing each day.
Sharing your viewing with someone else can add a whole extra layer, whether that’s snuggled up on the sofa with a real person (or a furry friend) or synchronised watching with a pal while you text each other hilarious critiques or guesses on whodunnit.
Meditation can be difficult to get into, but like most things, it just requires practice. Setting aside 10 minutes each day to sit and focus on your breath, without telling yourself off when you get distracted - which you will - can transform your mood.
There are wellbeing apps like Headspace and Calm, which are great for relatable and unpatronising introductions to relaxation and meditation. As well as beginner’s courses and tips, these apps also feature guided meditations, ambient music and soothing stories which are great if you’re having trouble sleeping.
Treat yourself to your favourite food. You deserve it, and you can make yourself feel better by supporting an independent local business with your dining choices! You’re helping your community… while eating pizza! What’s not to love?
You might be stuck at home but your taste buds can travel. Trying out some new (or first) dishes means you get to learn valuable skills as well as enjoy delicious food!
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Too much caffeine quickens your pulse, causes headaches and hinders sleep - basically mimicking the symptoms of stress. You don’t necessarily have to go cold turkey, but cutting down or switching to an alternative intake can improve mental and physical health.
Why not go to one of these spots and get a takeaway redbush?
Writing regularly, even just for a few minutes, can do wonders for anxiety and mental health. Expressing how you’re feeling to a non-judgemental space (which you could burn after if you wanted to) helps organise and calm stuck or looping thoughts, feelings and frustrations. It’s helpful for healthy venting, without shouting at your housemate for chewing too loudly.
If you’re able to: do some exercise. Finding the motivation can be difficult but the dopamine hit and the feeling afterwards is worth it. Perhaps find an accountabilibuddy, you can encourage each other to actually do some each day.
Video Call with Friends or Family
Give someone you care about a call. While we need to keep our distance, it’s pretty amazing we can still hang out and see each other, however far apart.
Enjoy the View
If you are lucky enough to have a London apartment with a view then watching out the window can bring your stress levels down.
Dolphin Square is right on the River Thames, giving an ever-changing view of the sky and the water. Located right on the Thames Path; between Ranelagh Gardens and St. George’s Square; a mile from St. James’ Park and 1.5 from Hyde Park, there’s no shortage of diverse green space.
De-stressing is a multisensory experience, so consider what you’re touching, tasting, hearing, seeing and smelling. A cosy space, soft lighting, relaxing music, a cup of tea and some aromatherapy will all help create a space of calm.
You can create this at home with a foot bath or if you’re lucky: an actual tub. All Dolphin House apartments come with a bath as standard. Indulge in a bubble bath with ambient lighting and some gentle music.
As well as a DIY option, guests of Dolphin House can also enjoy the on-site Moroccan spa, once restrictions allow it, without having to leave the building.
Take advantage of one of our offers to take a moment for yourself.
Creative expression is a very human way of handling stress. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to be therapeutic. Pick up some supplies from your local art shop or the internet and explore some online courses.
Dolphin House serviced apartments: convenient and stress-free living
In these trying times, we deserve to make things as easy for ourselves as possible. Some of the benefits of choosing a Dolphin House Serviced Apartment include having to spend less of your time on home maintenance and as the housekeeping is included in the cost and shared throughout the building, you are under less financial obligation than if you rented a private apartment.
There are wonderful guest amenities on-site. The decor is mindfully and beautifully done, adding to your wellbeing as you spend time inside, and there is a large, beautiful and well-kept garden.
The building has 24-hour-security for peace of mind and as well as being near parks and conservation areas. It is close to amenities and transport links for when movement does open up again.
Look after yourself
Even if we’re home alone we still need to take a moment to pause, to turn off the devices and really let go of our stress. Just because we’re on the sofa doesn’t mean we’re relaxing. So why not try some of these techniques, explore yoga or meditation, express yourself with art or cookery and stay in touch with the people you love. But above all make sure you’re being kind to yourself.
If you want to treat yourself to a serviced apartment and some space away why not book yourself a stay at Dolphin House.