It is totally understandable that overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress can take over during these unprecedented times so it is more important than ever to take care of our mental health. Many of us are worrying about the impact of coronavirus on our loved ones, our own health, our employment and our finances.
We have put together a few simple ideas that may be able to help you stay positive and motivated as we get through the next few weeks:
Maintain a routine
Our everyday lives may have been altered but that doesn’t mean that you need to change everything. You can try to keep your normal routine as much as possible, if you are now working or studying from home, start your day as you would normally. You could always take a walk as your daily exercise in place or your routine commute. Keeping some consistency in your daily life will help make everything seem more manageable.
Set up a workspace
If you are working or studying from home there can be lots of distractions so it is important to create a designated workspace.
Get some fresh air
Although we have been advised to limit going out of our homes research has shown that exposure to nature not only makes us feel better emotionally and mentally, it also contributes to your physical well-being – reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones. If you find yourself dwelling on your problems or feeling overwhelmed you could sit in your garden (if you are lucky enough to have one!) or take a short walk.
If you are working or studying from home it is important that you don’t forget to take occasional breaks, even if it’s 10 minutes to make and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee! Take the time to get up and move away from your desk to recharge, refocus and stay productive.
Keeping a structure to your day and organising your priorities can help you stay up to date on your responsibilities and not let working in your home affect your work life balance.
Social distancing means that many of us can't see family and friends for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stay in touch with your family, friends and colleagues. There are so many forms of digital communication that you can take advantage of including phone calls, texting, Skype, Facetime, Zoom etc. Loneliness can be damaging to your health so don’t totally isolate yourself.
Nobody knows what the future looks like so it is important not to obsess over things we cannot control. Focus your mind on the positives and savour the small moments in life that make you happy.
Keep your mind active
Reading, learning something new, arts and crafts – the list of hobbies you can engage with at home is countless. You can find online courses and tutorials so with time on your hands there is no better opportunity to start something new.
There are lots of types of exercise you can do from home without the need for specific equipment. There are plenty of videos online which can help if you need some inspiration or guidance.
Don’t overload on social media
Try not to become too engulfed in your social media, time away from the screen is really important.
It can feel hard to keep positive in these crazy times with all of the uncertainty but we are more resilient than we think! Stick to government advice and try to make the best of this situation.
Finally, don’t forget that everyone is in this situation together, and this will end.