Mental Health – it’s time to look after yourself…

Written by Leigh Foster

Looking after your mind and body is really important, especially if you are staying at home because of Coronavirus. There are so many things you can do to help to keep on top of your mental wellbeing and to cope with how you are feeling. 

Let’s be honest, who would have thought we would have been in this position in our lifetime?  It’s obvious that lockdown 3.0 is affecting everyone a lot more than in previous times.  I’ve listed a few ideas you could try:

  • Stay connected with others – communicating and maintaining relationships with people is important. There are plenty of ways you can keep in touch with friends and family by speaking on the phone, video calling and through social media platforms.
  • Make sure you look after your body – physical health does play a part in how we feel mentally. It’s really easy, especially when in lockdown, to fall into unhealthy patterns of eating and drinking alcohol.  This could be the time to improve on your culinary skills and plan your meals in advance!
  • I know this is something we are all guilty of, but don’t stay glued to the news! Limit the time you spend reading or listening to coverage of the Coronavirus outbreak, especially the opinions of individuals on social media. Set yourself a limit each day and stick to it.
  • You can still carry on doing things that make you happy. There are plenty of hobbies you can take up at home such as reading, writing or baking.  Whatever it is, find something that suits you. 
  • Take time to relax. This can help with the difficult emotions and worries you may be feeling.  There are plenty of relaxation techniques you can find online.  Try the NHS website under their ‘Every mind matters’ section.
  • Getting good sleep is essential to maintaining your wellbeing. Try keeping to regular sleeping patterns.
  • Talk to others about how you are feeling. It’s good to share your concerns with people you trust. Remember, this may help them too.  If you don’t have others to speak to, there are other outlets such as Talking Therapies and the Samaritans.  You may also have access to Employee Assistance Programmes through your employer.  If you’re not sure about this, speak with your manager or human resources.

It’s very common to experience symptoms of feeling low or waves of anxiety.  Whatever we feel, it is understandable, expected even, that this challenging period for the world will take a toll on us. 

For me, the most important thing is to talk.  Don’t suffer in silence, or think feeling this way is a sign of weakness – remember, it’s ok not to be ok…

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