Looking after your mental wellbeing during lockdown
In recent times, as a society we have become more aware of mental health issues than ever before. While it is a big positive that the stigma around mental health is gradually disappearing, sadly the current lockdown situation may prove incredibly difficult for some people to deal with.
Here, we share 10 simple hints and tips which may help you to keep healthy and happy during lockdown:
- Exercise - When in self isolation or remote working, our motivation for exercise might dip, particularly if you don’t have much space in your home. Use Youtube Exercise, where there is plenty to choose from and they encourage us to move and stay agile.
Alternatively, create an exercise programme that works for you which you can build on in the coming weeks. If you are looking for some nice motivational easy wins to get started: walk on the spot for 100 steps, stretch every hour, if you have stairs in your home walk up and down five minutes every hour. Dance 10 minutes-a-day to uplifting music.
- Shake it off! - when feeling overwhelmed shake off the feeling by keeping your feet firmly grounded and then by moving your arms and shoulders and if you are able to bend forward from the waist. Shaking it off releases the tensions we hold.
- Get into a routine - wake up at the same time as you would for work and school if you have children. Start the day with an exercise routine (if you have kids at home then it is a great way to get them active first thing). Wear a new outfit each day as you would to work, and then consciously take a break from the laptop.
- Healthy eating - prepare healthy meals when you can, drink lots of fluids throughout the day. A great way is to get the kids involved with preparing meals. It is tempting to eat lots of items with high sugar, yet it is all about balance.
- Breathing exercises - there are so many wonderful apps for mediation/mindfulness, however if you are not keen for another app then you might try consciously breathing in and out exhaling and inhaling - another great way to release the tension we might be holding.
- Smile and laugh! - while we are living in a huge amount of uncertainty, it may feel uncomfortable to smile and laugh, yet it is now we need the endorphins of our smile and laughter the most. You might like to kick start this with watching a comedy on your home tv.
- Talk with each other - making time for each other and asking, ‘how are you’? Listening is one of the most powerful tools we can use to create balance and harmony for each other. Find time in your day to talk to people using all the wonderful virtual tools we have.
- Share your experiences - these times are unprecedented for all of us and it is helping us breakdown barriers. Share with your family, friends or even clients if you started your day with a dance off, or if you are feeling sad, or if you are looking forward to preparing a healthy dinner. We are making connections on a different level, so let’s enjoy these connections.
- Get creative - remember when you were a child you enjoyed drawing, painting, writing (pen to paper). Take up a creative hobby which you can do at home. When we are being creative through drawing, sewing etc… our brain is engaged and distracted from thinking about anything else.
- Get plenty of sleep - create a bedtime ritual if you can. Keep to your routine by going to sleep at your usual time, not looking at a screen an hour before you go to sleep. Relax before you go to bed. Use breathing exercises and if you need to get up in the middle of the night try not to switch on the lights.
Hopefully, the above tips will give you some useful ideas on how you can stay occupied during these unusual times and keep looking after your mental health.
If you find yourself at a loose end or just in need of a chat, then please do feel free to pick up the phone to me or arrange a video call. It would be great to speak with you and hear how you are coping through this lockdown.
In the meantime, I hope you manage to stay safe and healthy!