Maintaining Mental Health in Lockdown.

High levels of bad vibes and low levels of human interaction, lockdown for some can cause all sorts of mental health issues. Even for individuals with strong mental endurance can struggle to manage their mental stamina. With everything in the current climate knocking you down, we have gathered a few helpful tips to help you get back up.

Stay connected, keep in touch.

Not necessarily social media but staying connected to your friends and family via Email, Telephone, Text Video calls etc. can be a great way of talking through your worries or concerns. It’s normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless at times with our current situation; remember it’s okay to share your worries with others you trust. They may make you feel better. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are hundreds of helplines you can try instead. Sometimes these are even more helpful as it is a stranger who does not know you or your life choices.

Top tip: Schedule a call with a different person each day to widen your social connectedness and help maintain valuable friendships!

There are thousands of online communities, gatherings, and socials all available online. Hundreds of active member parties that you can get involved with. People that you can get inspiration from, learn from, and grow with.

Top tip: Manage your time on social media – while it’s great to feel connected online, make sure to find a balance between online time and maintaining relationships with those closest to us. Take a break altogether on some days.

Look after your body, keep on your feet.

Our physical health has a significant impact on the way we think and feel. At times like this, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that end up making you feel worse. Try to adjust your diet, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking, drugs or drinking too much alcohol. If you are staying home, you could try exercising indoors, take online courses or commit to a weekly schedule. Even workouts that are as little as 10 minutes a day can be great for your body.

Top tip: Try doing 10 squats whilst brushing your teeth, 10 push-ups whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or 10 sit-ups whilst waiting for the laptop to start.

Do not stay glued to the news but keep track.

This may be obvious to some, but too much news can be bad for you. Try to limit the time you spend watching tv, reading, or listening to coverage of the outbreak. Turn off notifications for news applications, social media application or any applications that could give you negative news throughout the day. On top of this, only use trustworthy sources of information – these are sites like GOV.UK and the NHS website. In these troubling times, thousands of fake news articles are being produced to get reactions. Don’t become a victim of fake news.

Top tip: Instead of checking in with the news daily, opt to have a movie night with your family, or perhaps a film night with friends and share your thoughts after on video call.

Carry on doing things you enjoy and take time for yourself.

For many people, the thing they enjoy is still accessible to the – other people, however, may be restricted to limited sources of activities due to lockdown. This is the time to find new talents, build a new hobby or partake in things you may never have done before. Try to start a new hobby: read, write, do crosswords or jigsaws, bake, try drawing and painting. Whatever it is, find something that works for you.

Top tip: Allocate 30 minutes each day to do something for you – this could be taking a relaxing bath, practising some mindfulness, doing some exercise, playing with the kids, learning a new activity or simply cosying up with a book before bedtime.

Take time to relax, sleep and practice mindfulness.

Relaxation in times of worry can be difficult and finding a way to get to sleep at night for some can be a mission. So, try new things, consider a bath before bed, warm milk, soothing music, or other techniques proved to boost your feelings of relaxation and minimise feelings of anxiety. Good quality sleep makes a big difference in how we feel, so it is essential to get enough. Try to maintain a sleeping pattern, stick to good sleeping practises.

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your mind on the present moment and accepting your thoughts without judgement. Amid all the uncertainty and stress that people may be experiencing currently, it is something worth trying to help calm a busy mind.

Top tip: if you are new to mindfulness, try simple breathing or meditation techniques to get your started. Paying attention to our breath is a simple way to focus our attention.

In Summary

Self-isolation may be challenging, but there are things you can do to support your wellbeing and even make it a positive experience. Be thankful for the things you have around you, embrace the time spent with family, and reach out as much as possible to those around you. Further support and advice are always accessible to those who need it. More resources than ever are made remotely accessible to us, and therefore the help is all at your fingertips.