21st May 2020

Looking after you & your mental health. 

Looking after you & your mental health.

Now that we are all having to adapt to living with social-distancing, the need to stay emotionally and mentally well has never been greater. There are many steps you can take to look after your mental health and wellbeing which can help you feel positive and upbeat.

How to be productive, stay sane and have a little fun.

The prospect of life not returning to ‘normal’ for the foreseeable may leave you feeling anxious or stressed. That’s all completely fine and understandable. The lives we led prior to this pandemic are very different to the ones which we are now living at this moment in time.

If your role enables you to work from home, there’s some great ideas on how to be productive, stay sane and have a little fun whilst working remotely in our Tips For Working From Home blog.

There are many steps you can take to look after your mental health and well being which can help you feel positive and upbeat. Here’s a few suggestions.

1. Keep active.

It’s important to stay active as our physical and mental health are both linked.

For me, a key factor in helping me focus and maintain a sunny outlook is exercise.

I have to admit that the lockdown had been in place for around six weeks before I went for my first jog, or should we say fast walk?! I’d been out for my daily walks however, the prospect of jogging just to the end of the lane was daunting. I’m more of a gym class person and I prefer the encouragement from the instructor and my class buddies to spur me on rather than being left to my own devices.

After some self motivation, I plucked up the courage and I have to say, the uplifting feeling after my jog was brilliant. It really cleared my head and helped me to focus for my working day ahead.

 

I didn’t run far or fast, however I believe that the main thing is that you get yourself moving.

And we all have to start somewhere right?

The only bad workout is the one that didn't happen.

There’s some great apps available which can inspire and provide motivation. For example:

Mayathon.

The Mayathon app is great for encouraging you to do 26 minutes of exercise each day. You can do a variety of activities including walking, cycling, running and gardening. www.mayathon.com

Yoga Studio.

Interested in perfecting the tree pose or the downward dog?

Perhaps you’re searching for a bit of calm and relaxation. Yoga Studio is worth a try and they are offering a free 7 day trial too! www.yogastudioapp.com

Couch to 5K.

The NHS Couch to 5K app is brilliant for running newbies, gives you a choice of coaches and helps you track your progress.

www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-by-week/

There are many more ways you can stay active whether it’s out and about or from the comfort of your own home. Have a google and try a few options.

Perhaps keep a journal and note down what you liked, what challenged you and how you felt after the exercise. That way you can find the right type of activity which suits you best.

 

2. Stay connected.

Keep in contact with your friends and family to see how they are doing by phone, email and on social media. Many of us kept in touch when the lockdown was first put in place however have you stayed in contact lately? When’s the last time you checked in on your mate or called your colleague to see how they’re getting on? A friendly voice may just be what they are waiting to hear right now.

It’s positive news that we can now meet another person from outside of our household, as long as social distancing rules are followed. Why not make a plan for meeting up with a loved one and give yourself something to look forward to?

We’re all in this together.

3. Be creative.

Hobbies such as baking, singing, gardening, drumming, journaling and dancing can really help lift our mood and distract the mind from worries and anxieties.

I was recently given a Journal as a gift which includes colouring pages. I hadn’t done colouring since my childhood but on a lovely sunny day last week, I sharpened the crayons, headed to the garden, and began my journey to a colourful therapeutic land.

Did you know that colouring has the ability to relax the fear center of your brain, the amygdala? It induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind. This generates mindfulness and quietness, which allows your mind to get some rest from any worries. I would definitely recommend it!

Nothing stays the same forever

The main thing to focus on is to know that this situation is not forever, things will get better and I’m sure that we will all celebrate when this has passed.

There’s just a few suggestions above however, in the meantime, it’s important to know that support is available should you need it. It’s good to talk to a friend or a colleague about your thoughts and feelings and if you find it difficult to open up, there’s some great advice and resources available on sites such as www.mind.org.uk and www.mentalhealth.org.uk.

Stay safe and well, we will get through this together.

 

Author: Amy Romaine
Marketing Comms Manager