Oh how I wish there was no need for this one! But here in the U.K. our government doesn’t seem to be implementing any effective solutions like many countries around the world. (Get me to New Zealand).
Statistics surrounding people struggling with their Mental Health has absolutely soared since the lockdown began and unfortunately I haven’t seen or heard of any of those numbers going down. I decided to write up this post with my top tips on managing your Mental Health whilst you are in lockdown in the hope that it makes a positive difference to those who read it.
1. ROUTINE: Whether you are unemployed, on furlough, or working from home, having a set routine is crucial. Wake up at the same time every day, have your meals at the same times, and go to sleep at the same time. Use this time to discover new hobbies and interests that you can fill up your day with. Maybe something you’ve been wanting to do or learn for ages but you just haven’t had the time.
2. MOVEMENT: No matter your level of fitness, you being at home means your body is not moving as much as it is used to. Make movement a part of your daily routine. I recommend a work-out routine but there are other alternatives if that’s not for you. A brisk walk, a light or full workout, dancing, yoga, playing with your kids or your pets, do anything that gets your body moving. Try your best to do it outdoors, fresh air is a necessity during these times. I also suggest getting a step-counter. When you can physically see how much you’re moving, it can push you to do that little bit extra.
3. STAY OUT OF BED: Do not eat in bed, do not work in bed, do not spend your day in bed. Why? Psychologically, when you engage in non-relaxing activities whilst still in bed your mind starts to associate your bed as a place that is not meant for relaxation. This causes sleep disruption. Not to mention the hygiene reasons!
4. NO TO NEWS: THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. I understand that you want to be kept informed about what’s going on, but making the news part of your daily life will do you more harm than good. We all know that the media will announce more bad than good and by constantly consuming negativity, death statistics, etc, you will increase the fear and sadness in your own body. FEAR AND STRESS WEAKEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. Even if you don’t catch the virus that caused the lockdown, you could easily develop a different illness as a result of what you’re consuming. If you want to be informed, just look up the recent updates online, read it, and close it.
5. MINDFULNESS: Being at home doesn’t mean your mind and body is always relaxed. You’re still doing things. You’re still thinking things. Both mind and body are still at work and need time to unwind and settle. Start meditating, research different mindfulness activities you can do, write your thoughts and feelings in a journal. There are plenty of ways you can add mindfulness into your daily life.
6. EAT MORE PLANTS: Now I’m not just saying this because I’m a veggie! I’m saying this because it’s a fact. Meat is heavier on the mind and body than fresh fruit and veg and therefore you’re more likely to have higher energy levels if you decrease your consumption of animal based produce. If you’re a big meat lover, I understand this could be difficult. Start off by changing just 1-2 meals per week and go in your own time. We’re all different, the same speed of change that works for one may not work for another.
7. DE-CLUTTER: Your home is an extension of your energy field. Your surroundings will have a direct impact on the way you feel. If your environment is cluttered, there is a high chance that your mind will be too. Have a clear out, throw away things you no longer use and have no need for. You don’t need to do it all in one go. Maybe do one room per day, or one area of a room. Don’t forget to not just clear out your home, but clear out your devices as well! Pictures, videos, contacts, it’s very liberating!
8. POSITIVE SELF-TALK: Your thoughts create your reality.. literally! Start shifting the way you think and speak to yourself about yourself and about the current situation we find ourselves in. For example: Replace: “I’m stuck at home” with: “I’m looking after myself and the people I love”.
AND REMEMBER: All of this is temporary. One day you’ll get to work again, one day you’ll get to spend unlimited time with your friends and family again, one day you’ll get to travel again. Tough times never last, but you will. 💙
Sending all my love to those who are going through hardships. Don’t ever think you are alone in this. There is always someone who wants to listen and support you so please reach out if you’re struggling.
- The Samaritans: 116 123 (Free and confidential helpline)
- Papyrus: 0800 068 4141 (Young suicide prevention society)
- Re-think Mental Illness: 0300 5000 927 (Support and advice)
- Young Minds: 0808 802 5544 (Support for professionals and parents of children with Mental Health Illnesses)
- OCD Action: 0845 390 6232 (Support and treatment)
- No Panic: 0300 7729844 (Panic attacks, OCD & Phobias)
- Calm: 0800 58 58 58 (Male suicide prevention)
- The Silverline: 0800 4 70 80 90 (For the elderly)
- Crisis Text Line: Text SHOUT to 85258