My Safe Space
Balance. All the balance has gone out of my life; that’s what lockdown did to me. My room was my safe space, my solace. It was the only place in the house that was truly mine. I decorated it how I wanted, it has all my books, my clothes, my games. However much I love somewhere though, it can still become a prison or a trap.
My life in one room
I don’t just sleep and relax in my room anymore. I study, I write, I work. My commute is from my bed to my desk and sometimes I don’t even make that. I would go out and meet my friends but now I meet them in my room: on my phone. That’s it. That’s my life. All the important moments, all the things I need to do, they happen in my one room, my bedroom. My option for escape is yet more inside space with the same people. In a home that was a comfort but is now the place I can’t leave.
To be mentally healthy we need balance, and we need control. Lockdown has made that so much harder, because the things that I normally do to achieve balance, they are with other people, they’re outside, they’re not here, at least not in the way I want to do them. As for control, it’s so hard when you can’t plan anything, it feels like life is a big question mark right now. My future even more unknown than it was before the pandemic.
Find balance and control
It makes it hard to focus on the things I can control, because what I can’t control is so big. I can still make changes though, to my life, in my one room. There are things I can control and it’s important for my mental health that I focus on these. For instance, I can open the curtains every day and let the light in, even when I can’t go outside. I force myself to get dressed into different clothes and not spend my whole life in pyjamas. I moved my desk, so it’s in an alcove, so, it’s like a separate room to my bed where I sleep and relax. Or some days I work somewhere else or take turn with others for the available office space. I make myself message friends and loved ones. Sometimes I can’t bear the thought of seeing them through a screen but at least with messaging I keep in contact.
That’s part of keeping some kind of balance as well as control. It’s the same reason, that it’s important to go out for a walk when you can, just to keep that contact with nature and the outside world. In winter, that might mean going out at lunch time, or even taking a longer lunch. You are the most important thing, so shift the day round to suit you. That’s the same for the evenings too. Evenings in for me used to mean watching tv, but now that every evening is an evening in; it’s good to mix it up a bit. I do different things on some evenings, like catch up with people, play games or create something.
Make it work for you
You can create a routine that you like. You can find enough balance and control to get through the hardships of lockdown. There is no right way to do, we’re all just muddling through. Breathe. You can do this. Find what works for you and don’t worry what anyone else is doing.
We can help support you
If your struggling through lockdown or no someone who is, the wellbeing check- in service can help give you a safe space to talk with a trained volunteer. As well as our regular support groups, including a new lockdown support group for 10-13 year olds who are struggling during this difficult time.
For immediate support
Samaritans 24/7 Phoneline –
The Samaritans offer emotional support and a listening ear, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s a FREEPHONE number that can even be called from a mobile with no credit.
– Call them on 116 123 (24hr),
– Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connection 24/7 Phoneline for Dorset –
A helpline for people of all ages in Dorset who are experiencing mental health issues & need support.
– Call 111 and select ‘mental health,’
– Or dial 0300 1235440 to access support.
Gives help on a wide range of issues – you can call and email them; post on message boards and chat to a counsellor online.
– Call 0800 1111, currently 9am to midnight,
– Or email them securely from your online Childline account.
Papyrus provides confidential support and advice for young people struggling with thoughts of suicide and anyone worried about a young person.
– Call 0800 068 4141 or 07860 039967, 9am to 10pm weekdays, 2pm to 10pm weekends and bank holidays,
– Or email: email@example.com
Kooth provides FREE, safe, anonymous support for children and young people. You can live chat or message the team of counsellors, join discussion boards and use a daily journal to track your feelings.
– Visit kooth.com
Shout (text service) –
Shout provides a 24/7 text service, FREE on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
– Text SHOUT to 85258.