As we all struggle with the necessity of staying at home, our collective and individual mental health is crucial to us getting through this difficult period. Here are some tips to help with dealing with mental health.
If you can, do stay active. If your energy lowers, your mood may well too. Try to resist the urge not to do and keep your body and mind active. Exercise is vital, so get as much as you can. Government guidelines allow us to go for one form of exercise each day. Ensure you stay away from other people at all times. In the home you can exercise too, form squats to yoga and more. Check online resources and videos to help you along.
Watch your diet. Shopping trips must be made rarely and be productive. Plan them like a military campaign. Think ahead. Decide what you want. Eating well becomes even more important when we are all stuck at home. So do not treat this period like a holiday and an excuse to binge eat or eat what you want. This requires discipline and for you to realise that you can’t make up for bad eating at a later date. The same rules apply to alcohol. We are all going to have a drink or two of course but do not lose control. Stick to your normal alcohol routine, or even lower it.
It has never been more important to sleep. The amount and quality of sleep you get is heavily linked to well being. To your mental health, and a good night’s sleep has been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of a number of major diseases, from strokes to heart disease and even some cancers. So try and ensure that you have a daily routine, that you go to bed tired but relaxed and get that sleep in. If you are struggling, take steps to improve matters. Consider meditation – there are plenty of online resources and apps out there to help you.
If you have a wealth of free time, use it constructively. Do not waste it – this is not a situation any of us want to be in, but it is an opportunity for you nevertheless. Become an NHS volunteer, or catch up on all those unread books. Learn a language or take up a new hobby as you have long intended. Don’t take in too much news – it does not do us any good to fret even more over something we have no control over.
I have been contacting loads of people I know over the past two weeks just to say hi and see how they are. Do not stop. Keep in touch, it is great for your mental health. Cut down on social media, which can be very toxic, especially in the current climate. Listen to music, watch films and try to escape from reality for as much as possible. Look after the people closest to you. Be as nice and as kind as you can possibly be.
Try and stick to a routine that makes the day go quicker, rather than just drifting through the coming weeks with no purpose. Give yourself a list of thins to do, and perhaps introduce a reward system for completing tasks.
This may seem like weird advice – but if you have a garden go into it as much as possible to escape from the confinement. And go for a walk where it is safe to do so. Take all the necessary precautions, go alone, and do not go within 2 metres of another person. Wash your hands well before, during and after.