With the lockdown now being officially extended, it’s more important than ever to really focus on your mental health. Being stuck indoors, either on your own or with the same people, for long periods of time, and not being able to physically interact with others if you do venture out, can take its toll.
To help keep your mental health in good shape, here are some things you can do.
Get into a routine
This can be difficult when you’ve got nowhere to go. But getting up and dressed, sticking to set mealtimes and establishing a regular pattern for doing things can help you deal with the situation better. Even moving to a different room to one where you sleep, or going downstairs (if you have them), will make a big difference.
Physical activity is as good for the mind as it for the body, so try and get a fitness routine in place. There are loads of yoga and workout sessions available online, many of which are free. You don’t need fancy equipment for most of them, and they’re good way to pass the time, as well as helping your mental health.
As well as working out indoors, spending time outdoors will give your mental health a lift too. Running, walking (with or without a dog) and cycling are great ways to do this. Just remember to be considerate of others by social distancing and avoiding places where there’s lot of other people. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, mowing your lawn and doing some weeding are good for the mind too.
Wherever you’re spending time in lockdown, you’ll probably have that drawer or cupboard where you store junk. Now’s the perfect opportunity to get it sorted. It could also be a great time to give your home a serious clean and get into the nooks and crannies you might not normally have time to give proper attention to. The good feeling you’ll get will really help your mental wellbeing.
Even though you can’t see friends and family, keeping in touch will help you stay positive. Apps like Houseparty, Zoom and Skype are good for video-calling people, or there’s always the phone, text and social media if you prefer. You can also stay connected in your local community by offering to help deliver essential supplies to elderly or vulnerable neighbours, if you can.
It’s important to have some downtime and do something to relax. If you’re at home working, get away from your laptop and do something you enjoy for a bit whenever you can. It’s equally important to do this if you’re not working too – don’t pressure yourself to always be busy. Having a break is okay. Switch off the TV and radio news sometimes too. Unrelenting bad news can cause anxiety to rise.
Simply being positive can really look after your mental health. This can be difficult at times of uncertainty like these, but being happy and keeping upbeat can be very beneficial for your mind, as it combats stress, boosts your immune system and makes you more resilient. All of which are important to mental health.
Help is at hand
It’s perfectly okay to feel overwhelmed at what’s happening, and to have days when you don’t feel at your best. Things will get better and the situation will return to normal eventually, so try and keep that in mind when you feel low.
However, if you feel like you need someone to talk to, you might find these organisations useful:
Tel 03444 775 774
10am-8pm Sat and Sun.
Tel: 0300 123 3393
Tel: 116 123