Many of us are struggling with our mental health more than ever during the current pandemic however this is not something you should be hard on yourself about. We are out of routine; we've been stuck at home, adjusting to new working environments but most importantly we are trying to keep each other safe.
World mental health day takes place on 10th October annually in order to raise mental health awareness. Although we need to be aware of diagnosed mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) and other mental health problems, it is also important to acknowledge that anyone's mental health can be suffering in the current circumstances.
The pandemic has meant a different style of life, not only has our physical health been implicated due to limitations on what we can do and where we can go, but staying at home more regularly means risk to our mental health too, especially for those home alone.
Below are a few top tips to help you, your family, and your friends with your mental health throughout this difficult time;
Try to stay connected
At times of when we are feeling stressed, we tend to feel better when speaking to friends, family, and colleagues. Ask questions, how are you feeling today? How are you managing with work?
So many people around you are facing the same challenges! We are also very fortunate to have technology around and can be in touch with other people on social media, Zoom, e-mail or on the phone with just a click of a button. Just because a someone might not be a part of your social bubble, doesn't mean you can't catch up, and these are still amazing ways of being close to the people who matter to you the most.
So many of us are in limbo with our working lives, and without having a sense of routine, it is very easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that ultimately make you feel worse.
Try eating healthy, well-balanced meals and exercising often. Short bursts of physical activity will allow you to destress and remain active, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go for a walk or run, you could do some dancing, play with your children or even join a virtual fitness class.
Meditation and deep breaths can help you remain calm. The littlest things that you might believe are pointless can be extremely beneficial to clearing your mind and help to shift your thoughts.
Try focussing on the things that you can control, keep your surroundings clean and organised and your mental state will follow. There are also plenty of meditation apps and e-books available too.
Carry on doing the things you enjoy
Make a little bit of effort to focus on your favourite things to do if it is something you can still in line with the current government guidelines. If not, why not pick something new to learn? Colouring books, painting, knitting, jigsaws and other things you can find lying around the house are good creative outlets and help with expressing emotions.
Look after your sleep
Good quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel, so it is very important to make sure you are getting enough!
Share an act of kindness
This years theme for World Mental Health Day set by the World Federation for Mental Health is 'mental health for all'.
Not only does doing something kind for someone else help them, but it can also give you a positive boost. It's important to remember that anybody can be going through a difficult time and that we should be kind. Sharing an act of kindness throughout this pandemic could be exactly what someone else needs. Please see below and why not give one of them a go?
- Donating to foodbanks
- Donating to a charity
- Sending a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
- Contacting someone you have not seen in a while and arranging a phone catch up
- Lending your ear – calling a colleague to ask how they are finding the change in routine
- Sending a letter or postcard to a loved one
- Volunteering for a befriending service to keep someone company over telephone such as the elderly or those completely isolated
- Volunteering to help vulnerable individuals in your area
Spreading your kindness can play a big part in making everyone’s world better. Remember, even if you can only offer/ afford a little or do a small act, the impact of this will still be huge!
Lots more reads...
We have various resources discussing mental health from a variety of perspectives, why not give some of them a look over?
Remember we're in this together, you can always check up on others as well as ask for support yourself from the people around you.
There are a range of mental health services and ways for you to reach out, help is always available.