The first lockdown at the start of the pandemic contributed to increased levels of anxiety, depression and sleeplessness for many people. With lockdown 2.0 in full swing, it’s important to make a conscious effort to look after your mental wellbeing as everyday activities become less accessible.
Planning your time, scheduling in leisure and exercise and even just deciding when you’ll stop work can give back a sense of autonomy, as well as setting small goals to give yourself successes to celebrate and spending time alone getting to know your strengths.
The government has published advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19
Here are 10 ways you can take care of your mind during this second lockdown.
- Consider how to connect with others
Maintaining relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. As we are restricted on meeting other households, keeping in regular contact through video or voice calls, or even text messages can help you feel connected.
- Help and support others
Helping others could make a big difference to them and make you feel better too giving you the boost you may need. Many local communities have pulled together to help one another during this time, so check in on your neighbours to see if you can help them with anything.
- Talk about your worries
This is a difficult time for everyone and sharing how you are feeling and the things you are doing to cope with family and friends can help. If you don’t feel able to do this, there are a range of NHS recommended helplines available.
- Look after your physical wellbeing
Your physical health can have a big impact on how you’re feeling so try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals and drink enough water. You should exercise inside where possible or outside once a day.
- Look after your sleep
Try to maintain a regular sleeping pattern and keep good sleep practices – like avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment. The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
- Try to manage difficult feelings
Many of us have felt helpless during the pandemic so focus on the things you can control, including where you get information from and actions to make yourself feel prepared. The Every Mind Matters website provides further information on how to manage anxiety.
- Manage your media and information intake
24/7 news and social media can make you more worried. If you find this is affecting you, try to limit the amount of time you spend keeping up with what’s going on as it can be overwhelming and often focus on the negative.
- Think about your new routine
Life in lockdown is changing for us all for a while. Think about how you can adapt and create positive new routines – try to engage in useful activities (such as cleaning, cooking or exercise) or meaningful activities (such as reading or calling a friend) rather than sitting and dwelling on the negative.
- Do things you enjoy
Where possible, focussing on your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax indoors should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and feelings and can boost your mood. There are plenty of things you can do from the comfort of your own home.
- Set goals
Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose – think about things you want or need to do that you can still do at home.