Being back in another lockdown, many of us are feeling a serious strain on our mental health. Some of us might not be able to go to work, visit loved ones, or enjoy the activities we usually do and there seems to be no telling whether this is going to be the last time! Even with the news that we will be coming out of lockdown as of next week, some of us will still be stuck in a higher tier meaning there will again be restrictions.
With no clear end in sight, coronavirus is having a significant negative effect on mental health with many of us experiencing stress, anxiety and insomnia. We’ve decided to put together some tips, to help you manage your mental health over the coming weeks and months...
The amount of uncertainty which is controlling our lives right now can be particularly damaging for our mental health, so it’s important that we don't spend huge amounts of time dwelling on the things we can’t control. Instead try to focus on what is within your control.
One of the main things that we need to do throughout lockdown is find some sort of lockdown routine. Always get up and get dressed in the morning, go out for a walk or take part in some form of exercise once a day. Ok, we're going to have the odd 'lazy day', but try not to make that every day! Also, if you're working from home, create a space to work from so that you maintain a good work/life balance.
Instead of spending your days scrolling through social media, make a conscious effort to do something that makes you happy each day. Focus on spending time on the things that make you feel good. Whether that be grabbing a brew and sitting down reading a book, doing some baking or even taking your dog for a walk!
The reason we struggle to sleep at stressful times is because of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, making it harder for your body to wind down. Sleep is fundamental to us being physically and mentally well. Going to bed early and getting that extra bit of rest needed, will make a huge difference to your mood. If you're struggling to wind down, try some yoga, herbal tea or sleep mediation videos!
Spending too much time consuming negative news isn't going to help your mental state. Make sure the content you're consuming is positive, and unfollow anything that has the opposite effect on you right now!
Try forcing yourself to get some fresh air each, even if it's just for 15 minutes. Being stuck inside day in, day out will give you cabin fever and make you feel even more isolated. If you can go outside, then try going for a walk and surround yourself with nature. If you can’t leave your house, just head out into your garden for some fresh air!
Maintaining healthy relationships with the people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Find ways to stay in touch with friends and family – phone, messaging, video calls or social media. If you're struggling with your mental health then maybe confide in them and talk to them about how you're feeling!
There are plenty of things you can do and places to get more help and support if you are struggling with your mental health. You can go to the NHS mental health and wellbeing advice pages and take a self-assessment, as well as use audio guides and other tools you can use while staying at home.
Remember that for most of us, these feelings will pass. It’s worth noting that if your mental health does continue to get worse or begins to interrupt your day to day functioning, it’s important to seek help from a GP or qualified mental health professional.
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