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Worried about the new restrictions? Wherever you are, we got you.

We’ve come up with lots of words beginning with C to give you CALM’s (nearly) completely comprehensive collection to confidently get through the current Covid constraints. (C what we did there?)

Whether you’ve just gone into a second lockdown, have just come out of one, or are currently dealing with an overwhelming number of tiers, we can all agree it’s tough for everyone right now. 

After a summer of eased restrictions, we know that the prospect of an escalation in them can seem daunting – especially as the days get shorter. Things feel different this time around, with winter drawing in and the novelty of virtual quizzes, banana bread and home haircuts wearing off. While our optimism about lockdown may be wavering, one thing isn’t – CALM remains here to help you through this tricky time. 

We know you’re probably bored of countless lockdown guides asking you to make the most of this time with promises to learn a language, or start playing the oboe (we’re all doing that right?), so we’re here to keep it real. 

Connect

Whether it’s a virtual happy hour, a socially distanced park catch up or even *shudder* another quiz, stay in touch 

Staying connected with friends and family can give our wellbeing a boost. While many of us are battling with Zoom fatigue, staying in touch can make things feel a little less rubbish. Stuck for creative ways to virtually socialise that won’t make you groan? Host a virtual happy hour (grabbing a pint in your living room is a lot cheaper then down the pub), games night, or watch party. Alternatively, go old school and simply pick up the phone and talk to someone you care about. 

And if the awkward background walk-ins from pets and partners, and muted microphones that come with video calls are all getting a bit much, try and see people. In England, for example, remember one person from your household can meet with one other person outside for a socially distanced catch up so put on your beanie and head to the park. 

Control

Things are uncertain, so focus on the things you can control and make you feel better, like takeaways, watching footy and, er, Bake Off

It’s natural to want to feel in control, especially in times of uncertainty, so if you find you’re fixating on the “what-ifs” and worst case scenarios, it can help to limit the amount of time you watch the news and go on social media. Doomscrolling through your feed late at night? Try switching off with a book instead (our ambassadors Joe Marler and Jack Rooke have got really good and really funny ones out now, ) 

It’s also important to focus on the things you can control, such as getting a good night’s sleep, eating well and doing the things you remember worked for you during the first set of restrictions. Found running helped? Get those trainers back on. Enjoyed binging Netflix? Choose a series and press play. And whether it’s a big match, the final of Bake Off (come on, we know we’re ALL watching it) or just picking an evening to order in your favourite takeaway, put some dates in the diary to look forward to. 

Consistency 

Our days are different right now – routine can give you back some focus. Even if that’s just watching Bake Off each week (yeah, we love Bake Off, OK?) 

Whether you’re working from home and finding yourself also dealing with the kids running riot, furloughed for the foreseeable or living alone , many of our routines have been drastically altered and we know it can feel overwhelming. Not knowing what to do with your day or how it’s going to pan out can leave us with more time to dwell, so creating a loose routine can give us back some focus and help lower stress levels. 

Some other things that can help: with the shorter, darker, days try and do your exercise during daylight hours if you can so you can get some natural light and fresh air. And make sure you balance your time between activities that give you a sense of achievement and help you to relax – you don’t need to run a marathon every day. And, of course, some days you might not feel like sticking to a schedule, and that’s fine too. 

Compassion

You, your family and your neighbour Dave are all trying their best to get through this. So don’t be too hard on yourself – or others

We keep saying it because it’s true but: this year has been tough on everyone. It’s important to remember that this is a hard time and everyone’s circumstances are different, so go easy on others – and yourself. We all have different worries and we’re all feeling different ways, so it’s really important to not be too hard on yourself or others. Don’t berate yourself for feeling upset, or beat yourself up for not doing enough – you will have good days and bad days. And that’s OK. 

 Contact CALM

We’re here for you, whatever you’re going through, every day. No matter what.

This is a difficult time with a whole lot of unique pressures. From financial worries to health anxieties, if things are getting on top of you, call CALM on 0800 58 58 58 or through our webchat. Our trained support workers are available from 5pm to midnight everyday to provide practical support and advice, whatever you’re going through.

We’ve updated our get help pages with more information so you can access advice and support whenever you need it.  

Since the last lockdown, our helpline and webchat teams have had your back, answering 84,954 calls and chats since the beginning of lockdown and directly preventing 282 suicides. No matter what’s on your mind, you can talk to CALM. 

With the help of our amazing supporters we’ll continue to be there for whoever needs us  – no matter what. To fund a potentially life-saving call please donate £8 today.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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