Wellbeing in lockdown with the 30-3-30 Approach

As we enter our second lockdown in the UK, many of us remain separated from our friends and family.  This can make us feel lonely, upset and anxious. 

If you feel like you sometimes struggle to cope or need clarity on what reality is at the moment, there is help available.

Developed by 4 Mental Health the 30 – 3 – 30 Approach has ideas to help you cope and build your wellbeing.

With simple exercises that you can do anywhere for 30 seconds, 3 minutes or 30 minutes.

30 seconds

  • Take a few slow deep breaths. Breathe in, count to 3, breathe out, count to 3.
  • Close your eyes, hold one hand in the other, squeeze gently and repeat “I can get through this”.
  • Sit on a chair and focus on the sensation of the chair pressing onto your back and bottom.
  • Take a few sips of cold water, focusing on the cooling feeling as you swallow it. Even better if the water is very cold or if you can add ice.
  • Look out of a window or doorway. What can you see and hear? Anything new or unusual?
  • Pick up a special photo or object that evokes happy memories and focus on what it means to you.
  • Learn a favourite, inspiring quote by heart, or keep a written version handy to read.
  • Think of 2 things that are ‘Just about OK’.

3 minutes

  • Phone a loved one or friend for a quick chat. Leave a message if they don’t answer.
  • Do a household task, like a quick bit of washing up, cleaning the bathroom mirror or making a bed.
  • Make a hot drink in a mug and sip it slowly, feeling the warmth of the mug in both hands.
  • Do a quick brain workout, such as a wordsearch, crossword or sudoku. Try the ‘Alphabet Game’ -choose a category, then using the alphabet in order, list as many words as you can.
  • Listen to a favourite piece of music, something soothing or uplifting depending how you feel.
  • Brush your teeth and brush or comb your hair. (even if you don’t really need to!).
  • Write a worry list. Getting things down on paper can help stop them going around in your head. Now tackle them one by one.
  • Phone someone for a quick hello.

30 minutes

  • Pamper yourself with a luxurious bath, and maybe have scented candles and soothing music.
  • Do a ‘proper sort-out’ of a cluttered kitchen cupboard, drawer, wardrobe or bookcase. Feel the satisfaction of having done something!
  • Enjoy a TV or radio programme, either a recording of an old favourite or something new.
  • Do something ‘mindful’. This means just focusing on the one thing you are doing: such as a bit of gardening, spending time on an indoor hobby, completing a jigsaw puzzle, or listening to an audiobook.
  • Prepare a tasty meal or snack (perhaps a new recipe?) and eat it slowly, savouring every mouthful.
  • Sing. At the top of your voice, sing all the songs you know, or just your favourites several times.
  • Go out for some fresh air, if it’s safe and allowed. If not, are there any indoor exercises, yoga or stretches you can do?
  • Phone a helpline. There are many charities and support organisations with professionally trained staff only a call away.