How To Look After Your Mental Health and Well-Being During Lockdown

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As I am sat here writing this, the Prime Minister’s Daily Briefing is on BBC. There is now a total of 2,352 deaths in the UK. Stay at home. Help the NHS. Safe lives.

A couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to break up for Easter so I could curl up on the sofa, in my pyjamas and binge watch Netflix. It is so hard to believe that we would be longing for the opposite of this! Those 9ams and our usual busy schedules seem pretty good right now huh? It just goes to show that we don’t realise what we have until it’s gone.

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Then there’s that other thing none of us like. The fear of the unknown. Coronavirus has changed our lives for the foreseeable future, and we don’t know how or when it will end. It’s times like these, when the world is filled with so much uncertainty, that we need to look after ourselves and others. Our well-being and mental health is still important.

One out of three people are said to struggle with their mental health and well-being at some point in their lives. It’s in stressful periods and times of change that these struggles are more likely to creep in, and as we all adjust our lifestyles, it is definitely something that is going to be a challenge.

REMEMBER, struggling with mental health shouldn’t be seen as a weakness. Keeping on top of both your mental and physical health is super important in these difficult times. So, to help you get through the immediate future, I thought I would put together a few tips, of things I think will help take care of us all.

LOCKDOWN MENTAL-HEATH & WELL-BEING TIPS

KEEP IN CONTACT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY

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We are in the midst of very strange times, a time where we are forced to stay away from the ones closest to us, perhaps those you usually see every day. Take this time to ensure that you keep in touch and check in on those who may be struggling the most, whether it is FaceTime, a call or just a quick text. Remembering that you are not alone, and that we are all in this together makes it a lot easier to handle.

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF

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At times like these, it is very easy to fall into unhealthy patterns that can trigger negative feelings.
You must ensure that you look after yourself physically. A few ways of doing this involve: eating a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables, drinking enough water and exercising for thirty minutes a day.

You can leave your house for one form of exercise every day, either on your own or with members of your household. (This means that you CANNOT meet up with other members of your family or friends during lockdown). Make sure that you obey the two-metre rule to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Exercise is significant in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, if you don’t want to ride a bike, go for a run, a dog walk or if the weather is bad, (which it usually is!) try home workouts. Doing home workouts to music makes it more pleasurable and easier to manage. You can find plenty of them on YouTube, but I recommend Joe Wicks, he puts a new video on his channel every day at 9 am- that will kickstart your temporary, daily routine!

CREATE YOUR TEMPORARY ROUTINE

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To sustain good well-being, it helps that you keep to a routine. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, you may have found a lot of disruption to your daily life. Instead of allowing this to get on top of you, try to find a way to turn it into something positive. The best way to do this is to challenge the situation. Identify where the control that you have lies, set yourself goals, and find a new routine that gives you purpose to get up each morning.

Perhaps plan ahead, create a daily timetable of the things that you want to achieve, and get up at the same time each morning. Get ready, no matter how tempting it is to fall into a pattern of endless pyjama days.
Go to sleep at a similar time each night and pick consistent times to do regular activities. The more that you try and stick to your usual schedule, the more you’ll feel like you are regaining the structure and familiarity we are all used to

TAKE TIME TO RELAX AND CARRY ON DOING WHAT YOU ENJOY AS MUCH AS YOU CAN

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Normally, our lives are stuck in auto-pilot, and we don’t always have time to relax and do the things we enjoy, as those assignment deadlines all come piling in simultaneously. This is the ideal time to engage in your favourite hobbies -that’s if you can do them from home. But if you can’t, bake a cake, read a book, do anything that will take your mind off the situation that we are in right now. Honestly, a couple of weeks into lockdown and already, I am bored! Keep your mind active and stay occupied with something, it’ll help prevent those negative thoughts from sneaking in.

REMEMBER, STORMS DON’T LAST FOREVER

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It may be difficult, but try to find the positives. Look at it from the perspective that you are safe at home, not stuck at home, even though it may feel this way. Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves that we are safe, we are secure. The situation that we are living in now, although awful, is temporary. It’s something that we can’t change. Focus on what you can control. The only thing we can do is stay at home, and try to prevent the virus from spreading.

So, set yourself that goal, take up that new hobby. Stay safe, look after yourself, your friends and family, and before we know it, this disaster will all be over.

Finally, remember that there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel, even if there is still a long road ahead.

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