How to take care of your Mental Health during Lockdown
We are currently living through uncertain times, in the midst of a Global Pandemic, severe climate change and a volatile economic climate, not to mention Brexit talks, IR35 Legislation and …. the lack of toilet roll on the shelves!
The unpredictability and uncertainty of the current situation across the world is promoting and fostering increased levels of stress and anxiety.
I feel it is important to identify some measures that we can all take to maintain and improve our Mental Health at a time when many are now working from home for the foreseeable, ‘self-isolating’ and many are in ‘lockdown’. So, here are my 8 top tips for staying healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Stay in touch!
One of the best pieces of advice we can give is to stay in touch with your friends, relatives and neighbours! We are having to think about innovative ways to do this, so have a virtual get together, have a video call, or facetime, or even a virtual house party! There are so many options to choose from to ensure you stay in touch with your nearest and dearest and feel connected to your social circle
- Stick to your usual routine (as much as possible)
As many of us are now working from home or perhaps are now furloughed, sticking to a routine is critical. It can be too easy to lose the routine you had prior to lock down, but getting up at the same time each day, writing a list of what you plan to achieve during that day and going to bed at the same time each evening can be incredibly beneficial. Schedule activities and engage in activities that are value based, this will help to increase our mood and get that real sense of achievement.
- Eat well and remain hydrated
Eating a healthy balanced diet will give your body the best possible chance of staying free from not only COVID-19 but other seasonal illnesses like the common cold and influenza and serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and Cancer.
- Stay Active
Daily activity has been proven to boost your immune system, increase levels of endorphins, and serotonin levels, all together keeping your mind and body healthy. With all gyms and leisure centres now closed, we need to be a little more creative with our workouts and luckily there are lots of online classes you can take and many resources online for simple home workouts even if you have limited access to equipment- sometimes just a chair is all you really need!
- Limit News Updates
Limit news updates to reduce levels of anxiety and stress. It often feels like Coronavirus is the most talked about topic in the media and incoming updates are constant on all platforms, so take some time out, switch off your media notifications and take a mental break from the news, check in once or twice a day instead and ensure the sources you are accessing are genuine.
- Volunteer your time…
Or take part in a random act of kindness- check in on your neighbours and ask if they need anything while you go to the supermarket, or volunteer your time to help with deliveries of food or medicine, helping others while increasing your own mental wellbeing.
- Get involved in other activities at home
Rather than binge watching the latest series on T.V try out a new recipe, do something creative, find a free online course, learn a new language or tackle some projects around the house or in the garden that you haven’t had the chance to do.
- Focus on what you can control
A lot of the changes around us at this time are out of our control but these changes can cause an increase in our overall stress and anxiety. Try to stay in the present moment, and this is when a routine, taking on a new activity and having a schedule for each day really helps you to re-gain control.
And lastly, additional help is always available:
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) www.thecalmzone.net
Anxiety UK – www.anxietyuk.org.uk
A full list of support services can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/