Mental Health and Covid-19

Covid-19 and mental health

Taking care of our mental health has never been more important as we battle through this scary and uncertain time. The media has been full of Coronavirus updates the past few weeks which is causing havoc on our mental health. From daily statements on the TV to stories on our social media. And with the new lockdown measures causing us to be glued to our TVs and phones, this makes avoiding Coronavirus updates almost impossible. Although it’s important to stay informed about the Coronavirus, it’s just as important to support our wellbeing during such times.

Simon Cunning, CEO of Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) has revealed some simple steps to keeping on top of things and staying mentally fit and healthy at home.

“Coronavirus is here, and it looks likely it’ll be part of our daily life for a little while to come.

“Because of all the uncertainty it can be easy to feel out of control, which is why it is more important than ever to look after your mental and physical health and of those around you.”

Let’s take a look at Simon’s practical tips to help us get through these challenging times…

1. Stay Connected

Connecting and checking in with each other is more important now than ever and can help relieve stress caused by the news. With today’s interconnected world, there’s lots of ways you can stay connected to your friends and family. For example, you can stay connected to your work friends through Zoom calls, FaceTime your mum (she’ll love that), play some Call of Duty with your mates and even recreate a pub quiz night with your work colleagues through Zoom calls.

However, if you’re finding your WhatsApp and Facebook groups too overwhelming, don’t forget you can always mute them.

Simon says: “Now’s the perfect time to reach out to help other people.”

“Use this opportunity to connect with those you’ve not spoken to in a while and check in with people that may need it.”

“Livestream shows for your mates. Stage a huge Mario Kart tournament. You might be stuck indoors but the virtual world can be your oyster.”

2. switch off

It’s very tempting to keep watching all the information that’s coming in on social media. But don’t do this to yourself. To prevent this temptation, turn off for your social media. Remember, it’s okay to have a break from social media. And while you’re on your social media break, avoid watching news that could make you feel anxious and instead, choose to do something that’s practical and helpful.

If you still want to keep up to date on the news, choose a specific time when you’re going to do it. For example, 9am and 5pm.

Simon says: “There’s also a LOT of misinformation out there so stick to trusted sources.”

“And try and share the positive stories you see of people who have recovered or even a post on Twitter that made you laugh.”

3. keep up your daily routine

Try to find a balance between having a routine and making sure each day has some variety. This new change can be understandably difficult to accept but building yourself a new routine can help. Firstly, eating and doing familiar things at set times can help you to feel a little more in control of the situation.

Now is great opportunity to learn simple physical exercises you can do at home. Not only will this improve your mental and physical health, it’ll help to add some variety to your day.

Lastly, keep a To-Do list so you can see you’re achieving something each day. Even achieving mundane things like cleaning the oven can help you achieve that feeling of accomplishment.

Simon says: “Running, cycling and walking are all still options on the table (even if events you’d planned for might not be), and then there’s loads of online workouts to explore at home.

“From yoga to Hiit, and extreme beginner to expert, getting your blood pumping is a great way to get out of your head.”

4. let out your feelings

It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and upset during this tough time and finding it tricky to adjust to this unfamiliar way of living is understandable.

Simon says: “Getting it out is the best policy – whether that’s needing a bit of space or unloading your feelings. Social distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing.”

If you’ve found something that’s helping you cope, then please let us know. Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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