Exercise increases wellbeing and helps reduce symptoms of common mental health concerns. Your gym may have closed or your fitness groups may be cancelled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise! Yoga, Pilates, HIIT routines – all can be done in a relatively small space and with no equipment. Have a search on the internet for free workout videos and guides.
Eating a nutritious diet is great for both your physical and mental health. As much as possible, try and stick to a healthy diet even as your activities and environment change.
Connect with others
COVID-19 has made connecting with others trickier, but social connection is more important than ever. When many of us face lockdown, physical distancing, and travel restrictions, we may need to rely on technology to talk to our friends and family. Where possible, we can also connect with others by going out for a coffee or meal together, seeing a film, or going to an event. Reach out to your neighbours and community. Share how you’re feeling, and invite others to share with you.
Do something you enjoy each day
Do things that make you feel physically and emotionally comfortable, engaging in activities that make you feel safe and calm. Continue to do the things you enjoy as much as possible.
Limit media consumption (and choose trusted sources)
Choose how often you engage with news and social media, and be sure to find news sources that are trustworthy and factual. Add in some content that makes you laugh and feel comfortable wherever possible.
Keep to a routine
Keep to your regular routine as much as possible, including exercise, sleep, daily chores, work, recreational activities and connecting with others.
Get an early night
Prioritise getting enough sleep each night to help you feel more energised and focused during the day. Getting enough rest is the foundation to protecting your mental health.
Be kind to yourself
Remind yourself that there is no right or wrong reaction to the uncertainties of the pandemic, or to worrying events. Allow yourself extra grace if your productivity and motivation have been impacted by the changing environment.
While this is an uncertain time, try and view these changes with openness and acceptance. Remind yourself of things you’re grateful for and things you’ve learned.
It’s normal to experience anxiety and stress resulting from the pandemic. Talking to trusted friends, family, or your GP can help you through it. There are also many online and telehealth resources available.