Looking after your own mental health and wellbeing
It’s important to remember that it’s completely normal to be feeling more worried, stressed or anxious than usual, and that feelings and emotions come and go.
There are things you can do to help:
- It can be tempting to constantly check the news during times like this. But if you notice this is having a negative impact on your mental health or how you feel, then try limiting how often you check the news or make sure that you only check reputable sources such as Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care or NHS England. You can also instead try to focus on positive news, including how communities are coming together to support each other and acts of kindness from both individuals and companies.
- Self-isolating or social distancing? Try to reframe the situation. You are not ‘stuck inside’ but are instead indulging in an opportunity to slow down, focus on yourself and your home. Life nowadays can be hectic, so why not try to practice relaxing skills such as mindfulness and meditation? These will be life-long skills that can continue to help you once we are back to the hustle and bustle of usual life
- Stay connected – remember this is about physical distancing in most cases and not isolating yourself from all contact. Stay in touch through texting, social media, phone calls and video calls; don’t be shy about going on camera – your loved ones will really appreciate seeing you, even if you’re in your pyjamas! It’s also important to remember that they may be feeling lonely or anxious too, and your contact could really help
- Do one productive thing per day and set your sights on long-avoided tasks such as having a spring-clean or clear out, doing a bit of DIY or admin tasks such as sending off your meter readings or changing your energy supplier. Read some top tips to help you stay safe and avoid DIY or gardening injuries
- Keep active! From NHS gym-free workouts, millions of exercise classes on YouTube to celebrities and fitness gurus offering free tasters of their (usually paid for) online courses; exercise at home can be simple and there are options for most ages and abilities
- Try and establish a routine, whether you live alone or with other people. You could go for a walk first thing in the morning in place of your usual commute, or speak to a family member at a set time each day on FaceTime. It’s also important to try to keep usual bed and meal times
- Working from home? MHFA have a range of resources through their My Whole Self campaign to support you. Working from home can feel isolating, so if you are working remotely, My Whole Self is a great way to strengthen your virtual relationships
- Get some fresh air and natural light; open your curtains and windows to let this into your home or potter around the garden
- Learn something new or try something you haven’t for a while. From painting or crafts, online educational courses (FutureLearn andOpenLearn have free online courses you could try), or simply reading a book; keep your mind stimulated
- Be kind (to yourself and others) – a small act of kindness can help you move from the ‘helpless’ to ‘helpful’ zone, and it can also make you feel good! Why not put your neighbour’s bin out for them or post your contact details through their letterbox in case they need you? The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Looking out for our neighbours community campaign has lots of ideas as to how you can help your neighbours all year-round
- Eat well and regularly and stay hydrated; drinking enough water and eating regularly is important for both your mental and physical health to support your mood and energy levels.
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