Until March 2020, staying at home due to a pandemic isn’t something any of us were very familiar with. Restrictions on how we live our lives have affected everyone to varying degrees. So, if you have noticed your mental health has declined since the coronavirus outbreak began you are far from alone.
If this sounds familiar, finding ways to constructively combat your emotions is essential. Here are our top tips on how to take care of your mental health during lockdown to tell you more.
It sounds so simple given we are all attached to our phones these days, but staying in touch makes a huge difference. Everyone is feeling isolated to some degree, especially seen as we can’t hang out with our friends and family, or even go to the pub at the minute.
Social media is ironic in that you may have hundreds of contacts who you never actually engage with. A simple ‘hi, how are you doing?’ is all it takes to spark a conversation. Better still, give someone a call who you haven’t spoken to in a while. You might just make their day, as no doubt they are feeling just the same as you.
During the first lockdown, the average person spent 45 hours a week interacting with their phones, TVs or laptops. On the one hand, spending more time indoors can’t be avoided. Plus, a lot of people are now working from home too. But, the fact remains that too much screen time isn’t great for our mental health, especially with so much bad news popping up all the time.
While it might not be feasible to stop screen time altogether, making a conscious effort to cut down can be hugely beneficial. Whether you read a book or go on a walk, try to take some time every single day that does not involve a digital device. Social media platforms in particular are designed to be addictive, and these can have a real drain on your emotions too.
Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your physical and mental health. But as you may have noticed, gyms have once again been forced to close during lockdown. However, you can still access personal training during this time, as many trainers have taken to online classes and individual sessions instead. Alternatively, it is legal to work with a personal trainer in an outdoor public place during lockdown too.
There’s everything from pilates to HIIT training out there. Granted, it’s not the same as working out in a gym, but as this year has taught us the ability to adapt is how we get through it. Even an hour on Zoom a week will give you a fresh perspective, and it will also help combat feelings of loneliness as you’ll be making a new connection without even having to leave the house.
Even before the lockdown, 1 in 4 people reported having mental health concerns. Conditions such as anxiety and depression are common at the best of times, and no doubt lockdown has only made the issue worse. Whether you lack confidence, have experienced trauma or relationship difficulties, there are hundreds of different issues a therapist can help you with.
Sessions are held in confidence and during the lockdown can be carried out over the phone, Zoom or even live chat. Getting to the root cause of any issues that are weighing you down will benefit you in the long term, well after lockdown is over. So don’t delay in seeking help, especially if you are struggling to cope.
To sum up
The above steps will point you in the right direction to give yourself some much-needed breathing room. Whether you are worried about your finances or feeling the effects of isolation, you don’t have to go through it on your own. Talking to a neutral party in the form of a therapist, exercising and abstaining from too much screen time will greatly improve things.