Many of us have had a lot more time on our hands since lockdown started and, whilst in some ways such a precious thing, too much time can lead to overthinking and obsessing. During a time when widespread social and medical anxiety is already peaking, the addition of our own personal stresses can become all-consuming. I have found that, when my mind is running, the best think to do is distract it with something physical. Sometimes I simply let myself feel it and wallow in it, but more often than not the most effective way to calm my mind is to do yoga, meditation, or a workout. Below, I list my favourite YouTube channels that I have used to help me manage my mental and physical health during lockdown:
Yoga with Adrienne: Adrienne is such a lovely instructor, who centres her practise around being self-loving and self-aware. Her channel has a lot of videos with a range of difficulty levels so you can start where you feel comfortable and capable. If you aren’t tempted yet, she has the cutest dog called Benji who is in almost every video either trying to get involved or sleeping next to her. It’s worth giving them a go just for that.
Natasha Noel: Through practising yoga, Natasha has learnt to find new love for her body after experiencing childhood trauma. She has found that spending time focusing on your body and caring for it is a powerful tool for reducing the often-unwarranted feelings of self-blame and guilt that many of us feel in varying levels. Her energy is so wonderfully bright, and it is hard not to feel the same when you practise with her.
Headspace: Headspace is most well-known for the app, but there is actually a lot of great content on their YouTube channel. The videos cover such a wide range of needs; anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges do not all require the same meditative therapy, and Headspace are well aware of this. I have found that I gravitate towards this channel most when I am feeling a very specific feeling.
The Honest Guys: First and foremost, this is such a wholesome channel. Rick and Kevin believe that being kind to yourself is the most important thing, and they teach this through deep relaxation techniques. Allowing yourself the time to fully relax is arguably the best form of self-care, and this channel is perfect for just that.
Goodful: This channel is ideal for when you want to keep your meditation quick and simple. Goodful is ideal for when you are struggling to commit to a meditation session, because you aren’t feeling up to it or you haven’t got much time to play with. With videos less than 10 minutes long, they are perfect for when you are overwhelmed by the thought of a full session.
Body Project: This is my absolute favourite workout channel. They focus mainly on HIIT, but with a wide range of difficulty levels to choose from. The main instructor, Dan, is incredibly supportive and doesn’t patronise his audience. His attitude towards working out is that each individual should work to their own personal goal, and this makes the channel so much less intimidating for when you are just getting started. Body Project has made me really start to love working out, which I never thought I’d say truthfully. Definitely give this one a go!