These are uncertain times we are living in. You’ve likely heard that statement so many times over the past week that it’s almost overtaking ‘great weather we’re having’ as the most popular small talk conversation piece.
Amidst all the news stories, social media and its varying opinions and the lockdown itself, it brings with it a lot of worry and often some anxieties too.
The current Coronavirus situation can feel very overwhelming, combined with the extra time you have to spend at home, thinking and worrying, it’s easy to see how this worry can lead to something more difficult to manage.
The current climate has touched every single person’s life and, although the lockdown is temporary as such, it is having a very profound effect on people and their lives.
To help you manage these feelings, we have turned to the NHS for their guidance on managing mental health during this time, here are the NHS top tips:
It is important to know that if you are worrying a lot more and feeling scared, anxious and overwhelmed right now, you aren’t alone.
Keep TalkingIt's normal to feel worried, scared, overwhelmed or helpless about the current situation. By speaking with family and friends over the phone or by video calls you can share how you are feeling. Chances are they’re feeling the same way.
Quite often, by sharing how you’re feeling with others it can feel like a relief. Try to keep talking and stay connected with the people you would normally see often or even re-connect with old friends.
Restrict Information IntakeIn a world which is heavily reliant on digital and virtual connections, so is the case for news and social media which is updating constantly. Many people are now spending far more time on their phones and devices, scrolling their social media, online shopping, home-schooling, watching movies and more that its easy not to get sucked into the checking on the latest Coronavirus updates.
Try limiting the time you spend reading or watching the news to maybe once or twice a day. It may also be a good idea to turn your news notifications off so that these don’t distract or encourage you to check.
It’s also important to know that the accuracy of much of what is shared on social media is incorrect and not fact checked. If you are checking the news, try to find a credible source you can trust like the gov.uk or NHS websites.
Look After Your BodyYour physical health can have a big impact on how you feel. Try to eat healthy meals, stay hydrated and exercise at home or outdoors regularly.
It’s also important to try and get enough good quality sleep. Try to maintain a regular pattern and wind down at the end of the day, avoiding phones and caffeine.
Do Things That You EnjoyYou most likely have a bit more free time during lockdown. Why not use some of this time to focus on a hobby or trying something new.
You may like to cook, bake, draw or read and find that you are usually quite restricted by the pressures of our modern lifestyles and responsibilities to be able to apply any time or attention to doing some of the things you enjoy!
Taking some time to do these things can really help lift your mood and can also be quite relaxing too!
Stick To a RoutineYou may still be working, in which case sticking to a routine is a little easier as you will have to start and finish work at the same time every day. You many have children who are school age and you have to help them with their home learning.
Whatever your circumstance, it's really helpful to set a routine and try and stick to it. Going to bed and waking the same time every day or setting a plan of action for what you need to achieve each day, whether it be walking your dog, cooking a certain meal, clearing out the clutter – it’s good to have a sense of control and purpose.