10 Ways to Look After Your Mental Health in Isolation
With everything that is going on in the world right now, it is very easy and in fact common to have feelings of anxiety, loneliness, fear and just generally being overwhelmed.
Although during this Coronavirus pandemic maintaining our physical health and that of others around us is of top priority, it is so important to not neglect our mental health.
I have picked my top 10 ways to look after your mental health whilst we are all in lockdown…
#1 – Practice Mindfulness
Taking just 10 minutes out of your day to focus on some deep breathing and calming the mind has been shown to be beneficial in calming anxieties and worries. Self-meditation can be hugely beneficial and there are also some great tools such as Headspace or Calm which are great to listen to just before bed.
#2 – Get Outside
For the moment we are still allowed outside once a day, use this privilege for as long as we have it and get yourself out for a walk or a run, whilst maintaining good social distancing please!
#3 – Set yourself a routine
Don’t stay in bed all day just because you can, plan yourself a routine to make you feel more productive with your days (even if it is simply a plan of which series you plan to binge on Netflix that day!)
#4 – Spend Time Cooking and Enjoying Good Food
With all this spare time, we can put extra love and attention into preparing good, nutritiously dense foods that will fuel us and our immune system. Dust off those old cookery books and aprons and get in the kitchen!
#5 – Don’t spend all your time scrolling on social media
We have so much more free time on our hands, try to avoid spending hours scrolling through the noise and hysteria on social media. Limit the time when you are on it, especially before you go to bed and if anything makes you uneasy then delete/block/remove…
#6 – Exercise
With the limits on how much we can go out this is going to be the most difficult to uphold but getting out for an hour to walk/run/cycle not only will improve our physical but also mental health. There are hundreds of resources online for home workouts, yoga classes, HIIT classes etc.
#7 – Listen to a New Podcast
If you get bored of making your way through the bookshelf, why not educate yourself with something new, listening to podcasts can be a great way of relaxing whilst actively engaging the mind. My personal favourites are Feel Better, Live More by Dr Chatterjee, 2 Docs Talk and The Food Medic.
#8 – Take up a new hobby
Always wanted to try knitting a scarf? No time like the present.
#9 – Spend time with/speak to loved ones
If you are in lockdown with your family, spend quality time with them and try and limit how much you talk about COVID-19 – it can be easy to only focus on this. If you are isolating alone, check in with your loved ones, skype them, call them, download House-party and have a virtual family gathering.
#10 – Recognise that it is ok to not feel ok
My last point and arguably the most important – it that it is 100% ok to feel anxious or uneasy during this time. Coronavirus has brought with it a wave of uncertainty, panic and hysteria, and it is easy to become overwhelmed by this. But know this, you are not alone – we are all fighting this together and will come out the other side stronger.
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