Looking after yourself and your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak
18th March 2020
I think everyone can agree that we are all worried about the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK. We are aware that it is likely to be on most of our minds, which is why we have put this blog together for you. It is a very distressing time in the UK due to this virus and it can be hard for it to not have an effect on ourselves and our mental health.
In the UK one in four people experience a mental health problem in any given year- but there are lots of things you can try that could help with your wellbeing.
Things that could help you:
• Avoid re-reading articles and advice if it is unhelpful or repetitive, as it is more likely to play on your mind.
• Let other people know if you are struggling or finding it hard to focus. For example, you could ask someone you trust to check up on you regularly or ask them to remind you to wash your hands or other simple actions (sometimes you can forget the small things when you are anxious or stressed).
• Breathing exercises could be useful to you as it can help you feel more in control about the situation.
• It is good to set goals to ensure that you are following a routine that benefits you and your mental health e.g. reminding yourself to wash your hands for the recommended 20 seconds.
• Create a plan or a to-do list, this is something that can distract you and keep you busy, whilst being productive at the same time.
• Something that might benefit you is reading some useful tips on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), whether you deal with this or know someone who has OCD- as you can expand on your knowledge and potentially help others.
How to look after your mental health when you are self-isolating?
Being cooped up inside for days, weeks or months on end can have a huge effect on our mental health.
However, there are a few things that we recommend you trying out during self-isolation.
. Pick up a hobby- this will help stimulate your mind and make sure that it is still active with things to do. These activities may include drawing, reading, tidying, sewing, cooking, DIY and so much more. You might even discover something new that you would like to add permanently into your daily routine.
. Digital detox- Limiting the amount of time spent on your phone can help reduce anxiety and prevent low moods. It is very easy to be non-stop scrolling and browsing on your phone all day. If you find that reading too much about the virus can make you panic, then it might be useful setting a daily phone quarantine period, as reading more can’t help change the situation- but it can become toxic to your mind and wellbeing.
. Meditation- this is another great way to reduce and get rid of the feelings of anxiety or restlessness. The main purpose of meditation is to stop the endless mind chatter and to find the quiet and space within. By withdrawing yourself from your surroundings, you are able to stop the worry and anxiousness that comes with self-isolation and the uncertainty of the situation that we are all in.
. Exercise- exercising releases all those important endorphins which boosts our mood, but housework does contribute to exercise, which is great for you to concentrate on doing tasks around your home. This means you do not need a home gym to keep healthy, even tidying up and cleaning can help you get on top of your mood.
We hope you have found our blog helpful and we hope everyone is doing ok in this global situation. Just remember to Catch It, Kill It, Bin It and ensure you are following the Government guidelines.
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