Managing a rollercoaster of emotions

Date: 25 June 2020   Author: Energise Me

Many people have had their lives shaken up reccently. Having been recently furloughed Jen struggled at first and wondered how she would keep busy and fill up each day. Keen to stay optimistic Jen turned to exercise to keep her mind and body working.

Jen using exercise to manage her emotions during lockdown


Jen’s story…

Since being in lockdown my emotions have been on a roller coaster ride. When I first heard that I wouldn’t be going back to my main job it was a shock and it was difficult to shake off the negative thoughts. One thing that has helped me to stay positive is being active every day. I can get bored quickly if I don’t change up my routine, so I have been trying to do something different each day. Here are some of the ways I have been getting active.


Doorstep discoveries

Each day I challenge myself to find a different route starting from my doorstep. It’s amazing what you can find locally and I have really enjoyed exploring my local community. I have stumbled across small forests, off road bike tracks, old railway lines and parks that I didn’t know were there. One of the favourite places I have found is a park where the local council have planted fruit trees so that the community can help themselves to apples, plums and other fruit, what a great idea! Being out in nature makes me feel relaxed, especially when I discover a new path.


Obstacle courses

If you want to inject some more fun into your workout, challenge your family members to create an obstacle course for you. You can use whatever you can find within your house or garden. I used skipping ropes, balls, stepping stones, balance beams, weights, poy, garden steps, a nerf gun (used safely of course!) Time each of your family members racing around the course and then post it on social media and challenge your friends. If you’re doing this inside make sure to clear the path as much as possible before you start!

Initially, it felt a little strange doing this via video and audio, it took a few sessions before I felt comfortable. It gives me something to look forward to as well as helping me stick to some kind of routine.

Online classes

I was missing my weekly aerial hoop class so when I found out that the instructor was going to carry on with yoga and split stretching I was keen to get involved. Working on our split stretching means when we get back to class this will help with our flexibility on the hoop. Initially, it felt a little strange doing this via video and audio, it took a few sessions before I felt comfortable. It gives me something to look forward to as well as helping me stick to some kind of routine. If you find it hard to catch ‘On Demand’ classes many of them make them available to catch up later at your own convenience. If you’re feeling a little self-conscious at first, like me, you can begin by having your audio and video switched off until you feel more comfortable and confident.


Playing cards workout

I discovered this one thanks to My Fitness Pal. Find a deck of cards and then write an exercise for each suite. For example, I chose Step Ups for Hearts, Tricep Dips for Diamonds, Bicycle Crunches for Clubs and Skaters for Spades. I made sure the exercises covered most areas of the body, so working arms, legs, core and back. With the cards facing down choose 10-20 cards depending on how long you want the workout to be. Voila you have a workout! This is especially great for a quick 10-minute workout to raise the heart rate and you can change it every time.



You’re never too old for Gymnastics

I spent most of my childhood upside down. I love practicing handstands and headstands. All you need is a patch of grass and a pillow to protect your head during headstands. If you’re a beginner you can ask someone to support you. My favourite games as a child was “I am the greatest” although I still play it as an adult with whoever is willing! Challenge your household, here’s how to play:

  • Everyone stands in a circle and chooses someone to start (Player 1).
  • Then sing a little rhyme which goes like this: Player 1(while doing a handstand): I am the greatest! Everyone else: Oh no you’re not, Player 1: Looking for the longest… 1,2,3 go!
  • Immediately after the end of this rhyme, everyone except Player 1 does a handstand and tries to stay in the air for the longest amount of time possible.
  • Player 1 is the judge, and when everyone is standing up again, he/she decides who did the longest handstand. This person becomes the next Player 1 and they start the rhyme again

You can make it even more challenging by asking for the straightest, silliest or shortest handstand, whatever comes into your head!

Jen's outdoor workout set up - using exercise to manage emotions



I’ve always found that I am happiest when I feel purposeful. I wanted to help the community in some way during this time. When I heard about a local gardening company looking for volunteers I jumped at the opportunity. Due to the current climate, they had hundreds of spare stock going to waste and wanted to spread some joy by distributing flowers to local people. I thought it was a great idea and would be a perfect way to get active. Carrying around big baskets of flowers was great strength training and walking to each house increased my step count. This was all done by keeping to social distancing guidelines but I still managed to meet new neighbours from a distance. I’ll be keeping an eye out for other local volunteering opportunities on the Nextdoor app.

Being active every day and mixing up my routine has helped me continue to feel connected with friends and to nature, as well as making me feel positive and physically stronger. I’ve also picked up some new skills and hobbies! Remember that it’s okay not to have a good day. When you are feeling down do things that make you feel good, reach out to people you love, fling open the windows and breathe in the fresh air and take care of yourself. Hopefully, this gives you some ideas on how you can get active during this strange time.

Let us know what you’ve been filling your days with by tweeting us @EnergiseMe_ .

For more information on looking after your mental health during lockdown you can check out the Every Mind Matters page on the NHS website or Visit Solent Mind.


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