The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down in so many ways and with signs of a vaccine still a way off, it’s important to consider how lockdown has affected and continues to affect, our mental health.
More importantly though, is to consider steps we can take keep us on the beaten track through these testing times. Here are a few ideas that have helped us here at Healthier Matters so far.
Self-care & wellness are important
For many of us, lockdown has disrupted our routines and the general structure that helps us get a normal week. It’s so easy to get out of sync and inadvertently introduce bad habits like regularly oversleeping, neglecting dental hygiene, eating outside of meal times and choosing the wrong foods.
Try to maintain some degree of structure in the important areas of your life. You’ll be amazed how comforting a routine can be during manic periods in your life.
Exercise, if you’re able to
Motivating yourself to do sport and exercise can be a difficult feat when your anxiety levels are high and your willpower levels are zero.
Research has shown that as little as 10 minutes of exercise can improve your mood and in turn, motivate you to make positive choices in other areas of your life.
Options like the gym and exercising in a nearby park might not be accessible to everyone. If you’ve got limited space, why not try out some Joe Wicks workouts, which became quite the phenomenon at the start of lockdown?
Joe uses tools as basic as a mat to work out for 10-20 minutes. His HIT (high intensity workouts) are designed to be suited to small spaces and for those who have limited time to work out.
Fuel your body with goodness
We’ve all heard the age-old proverb; you are what you eat. In 2020, there’s no real excuse not to know which foods are good and bad for your health. Ditch the high-sugar foods for high-fibre foods, which will give you the slow release energy you need to get through the day without huge mental highs and lows.
Take a look at Martin Lewis’s MoneySavingExpert site for information on which supermarkets are offering deals on cheap fruit and veg. Eating healthily doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Keep a record of your achievements
We’re constantly told to keep a record of the things we should be aiming for and aspiring towards. But what if we flipped this idea on its head?
Try writing down all the positive things you achieved each day, no matter how trivial they might seem. Even small victories like eating your 5 a day or getting out for a 10-minute walks are worth taking note of. Who says we shouldn’t celebrate our own successes?!
Keep your home tidy
Treat your home as a sanctuary and take pride in it. Minimising clutter and mess in your living spaces has the potential to make a real difference to your mindset.
Cleaning your home can help you feel in control which is extremely valuable, especially if you’re currently out of work or on furlough.
Contact people who can help
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Asking for help is the best thing you can do when you feel isolated, helpless or when you feel you’ve reached a blockade in your life.
There are a number of charities who employ kind and empathetic professionals and volunteers whose job it is to lend you a hand in your time of need.
Here are a few examples:
- Rethink Mental Illness
- Invictus Trust (for teens & young adults)
Trying to stay strong this year has been super hard, especially now being stuck in tier 4. Just as I was about to go visit friends and family. Its really starting to take a toll now.
Keeping yoour mental health in check since this pandemic started has been quite tough, especially since we barely get to go out anymore, see our family and friends. But, we have to stay positive because, this is going to be over soon!