Spring should be a time full of hope and bursting new life seen in our parks, gardens and plant life. However, this Spring, life has taken an unprecedented turn and events are unfolding over the spread of the Corona Virus on a global scale. Life has changed for the time being beyond recognition. This all gives rise to anxiety and stress for many. Those who have school aged children will be concerned about missed education as the schools close and if exams are unable to take place. The future can seem scary and unpredictable. Others of you may fall into the "vulnerable" category, whether due to age or underlining health issues.
The introduction of self isolation, while aiming to stop the spread of the virus, brings other issues of feeling cut off, lonely, and fearful. You only have to visit a supermarket to recognise the scale of panic in many people and the very real problem of food shortages. Those being encouraged to work from home maybe fearful of job security as many areas of work are being hit by these changes to the way we live. Social interaction is vital to our well-being and yet this is being limited by the closure of restaurants, clubs, pubs, and any group activities.
So what should you do to maintain your wellbeing and mental health at this time:
8 Ways to look after your mental health:
- Don't watch the news more than once a day. It can become depressing and addictive to hear the latest news update, which is often negative and alarming.
- Maintain contact with family and friends via the phone. Where possible using video calling in order to actually see another human being and to interact with them.
- Keep physically active. Move around your house and get outdoors. Take a walk around the block or walk to your nearest park or woods. If you are unable to go to gym classes, go out running, jogging, walking or biking to maintain your fitness.
- Get fresh air. If you have a garden it might be possible to work, on a laptop or phone in the garden. Keep rooms well ventilated. Take regular breaks.
- Hydrate. Drink plenty of water.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a depressant and can raise anxiety levels.
- Social contact. Make a list of people you can contact who will meet your different needs. Who can make you laugh? Who is good at listening to you? Who will give you that hug? Who will encourage or challenge you? Who can offer practical help? We need these different people in our lives and to know who we can ring when in need.
- Have routine and structure. It is important to keep motivated by maintaining a routine to your day. Regular meal times and daily rituals are important and give structure to your day. Personal hygiene and care over your appearance can lift your self esteem. Find a positive mantra to encourage yourself each day.
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