It’s fair to say that Covid-19 has impacted everybody’s lives over the past couple of weeks. Whilst key workers are still working hard to keep everyone safe, a lot of us are adapting to working from home and altering the way we socialise. We’ve put together some tips to help you take care of your mental wellbeing during the next couple of weeks.
Staying connected to people has never been easier with the technology we have access to. Following the government’s advice to socially distance yourself doesn’t mean you can’t see your friends. Rather than having a phone call, video calling is a great way to see your friends and family. There is an abundance of apps available on IoS and Android, from FaceTime to Skype and Facebook Messenger, there are lots of ways to video call people. Seeing a familiar face can instantly lift your mood and make you feel less lonely.
Houseparty is a great new app, designed to bring large groups of people together. Add your friends and up to eight people and you can all chat together. Houseparty also has a large number of quizzes and games, providing hours of entertainment.
At the time of writing this, the government have said individuals can leave the house once a day for essential exercise, staying at least 2m away from others. Make the most of that time! Although it feels easier to stay inside all day, try to get outside. Going for a walk or run and getting fresh air will instantly make you feel better. If you can’t go outside, ensure you’ve a good air flow through your home as it will help your mind feel clearer.
Speaking of which, use this time to practice mindfulness. In worrying times like these, practicing mindfulness is a great way to ‘switch off’ for a couple of minutes. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert, there are plenty of apps that will guide you through the mindfulness journey and teach you how to clear your mind and relax. Breethe, Calmand Headspace are all free apps that specialise in meditation, mindfulness and help with breathing techniques if you’re struggling to switch off.
If that one trip outside a day isn’t enough there are plenty of free online exercise classes you could get involved with. If you’re normally a member of the gym check to see if your gym is running classes online during the closure. If not, have a look at channels like Youtube, there’s a list of free ones here. Exercise is a great way to release endorphins and add a bit of structure into your day.
We’re all guilty of perhaps doing a little more Instagram scrolling now than we used to. It’s widely known that social media can affect your mindset. Remember to put your phone down every so often and take ‘social media breaks’ if you feel you need to.
Now may also be a good time to clear your newsfeed, a lot of scaremongering is being shared online and it affects everyone differently. Try filling your Instagram feed with positive accounts like The Happy Newspaper and Happsters. You deserve a boost whilst you’re browsing.
We’re in a completely unique situation, so if you’re left with a lot more time on your hands than usual, use the time to learn a new skill – dig out that sewing machine and learn how to sew. Retrieve your guitar out of the loft, watch YouTube tutorials, start painting, reading or knitting. Whatever you’ve always wanted to do, now’s your chance (within reason)
In times like these, we feel like we want to check the news every minute of every day. If you feel like it’s affecting your mental health try limiting the amount of time you watch it per day. The same applies to morning TV talk shows.
If you’re struggling, here are details on services and organisations that offer help and support directly to people experiencing mental health issues. We hope this has given you a little inspiration to help you take care of your mental state of mind during the next couple of weeks.
Remember to stay at home and protect those around you.