Jemima from the Fundraising Team at Mental Health UK provides her advice for looking after your mental health if you’re experiencing problems for the first time as a result of the pandemic.
Feeling confused over this pandemic? Same here. Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has been a hugely difficult and trying time for us all. This could be the first time you’re having problems with your mental health as a result of the lockdown rules being put in place.
My mental health has always been generally well balanced, but this pandemic has changed the way I think, feel and react to things. At least 3 times a day, if not more, I suddenly remember what’s happening and feel an overwhelming sense of worry. Worry for everyone and everything.
What is going to happen? Are my loved ones going to be OK? Is the economy going to fall apart?
There are so many different pieces of advice out there as to what to do to alleviate anxiety, loneliness and worry that the help can almost be overwhelming too.
So, to help with my wellbeing I try to remind myself of the following things:
Worrying rarely leads to a solution. Although coronavirus does lead to deaths in a small proportion of the population, the vast majority of people will recover, and many will only experience mild symptoms
I only watch the news at 5pm every other day I also remind myself that there are experts working behind the scenes to alleviate the issues being caused by this pandemic
Enjoy the present moment for what it is. I have never felt so virtually connected to friends and family, everyone is in the same boat and reaching out for virtual hangouts. There are positive things coming out of this, and I try to remain thankful for those. Before you get out of bed in the morning name 3 things you are grateful for and why. This starts my morning off in a positive way
My COVID-19 hacks
Follow what the experts say and set yourself a daily routine. Whether you’re sticking to a routine that you lived by before all this started, or you have set a new one, it’s good to try and stick to it.
If you’re living in a houseshare with lots of people working from home, it is a good idea to have a designated area for taking calls and having virtual meetings.
Try and have something planned for when you finish work each day, be that your allotted time of exercise, reading a book for an hour, face-timing a friend or family member or anything else you can think of. It means you have something to look forward to at the end of your day and separates your workday from the rest of your evening.
Potentially the most important thing to bear in mind during this time. Who are you keeping in touch with? Do you know people living on their own? Are you having regular catch-ups with friends and family? Make sure you do! We are being told to stay apart to defeat this pandemic, but we need to make sure that we do what we can to stay together in other ways.
Take advantage of your allotted 30 minutes of exercise if you can. Getting out the house for a run really can make all the difference to your mental state. There are so many free exercise classes you can stream for you to explore and join.
Pleasures you still have…
What are the things you are still able to enjoy during this time? Is it potting some plant cuttings, reading a good book, writing a lovely letter or email to a friend or family member?
Whatever you do, stay safe and stay connected. If you want to get in touch with us for a chat, or to let us know what you are doing to pass the time in the evenings, please do! Get in contact with us on social media, we love to see the things you find help with your mental health.
If you are feeling anxious for long amounts of time and it’s affecting your day and your mood, you can find lots of different helplines on the NHS website here.
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