With all advice going against leaving the house, and some countries even on lockdown, it’s more important now than ever to look after your mental health. And before you bat this away with an “I’m fine”, remember that mental health is something we all have and it matters that we all take care of it.
This blog post runs over some of my own tips on taking care of your mental health during this time – I am NOT a professional, this is just based on personal experience and advice I’ve taken in from others around me. Aside from phoning friends and family, stretching your body and eating well, here’s what’s working for me so far…
- Keep a daily routine
Routine matters more now than it did when we were free to roam around and go about our day. Self-isolation is a bizarre place to be, what do we do? Sticking to a routine (even slightly) is crucial for feeling somewhat in control and productive. There’s no need for strict rules, but make sure to get up before a certain time, or plan out your day – whatever is going to feel like a routine for you.
2. Set yourself daily goals
It doesn’t matter how big or small the goal is, just set it for yourself. Just like getting up for work, uni or school set yourself a small incentive or motivation for the day to get you up and through the day.
3. Cut the guilt and shaming – it won’t get you anywhere
This is a trying time and it’s okay if you’re feeling overwhelmed right now. Be gentle on yourself and your mind. This certainly isn’t the time to start scrutinising yourself or anybody else for just trying to make it through this confusing time.
4. Spend some time outdoors
Where possible, get outside for a small portion of the day i.e. your garden or communal space (keeping in mind that physical distancing!) Getting outside for 10 minutes or so for your vitamin D fix can be a big mood booster. Even just for a bit of fresh air.
5. Arrange a group FaceTime or chat with some friends or family
Houseparty has grown popular in the light of the Coronavirus crisis. Available on IOS and Android, the app is designed to enable group video chatting and create a room that multiple users can access. It’s great for digitally spending some time with friends and family as well as taking part in interactive games such as quizzes.
6. Bring yourself back to what you once loved
The chaotic lifestyles we have grown used to living have made it significantly easier to get lost in the world of university, work, or school. What we don’t see is how we gradually stopped making time for the things that made us happy. Try and see the silver linings in the madness and make time again for the things that bring you joy. Prioritise it and start incorporating it into your day-to-day again.
7. Utilise this time to figure out yourself
Again, the nature of the hustle and bustle means we seldom tune into ourselves and our needs. We’ve grown used to a society that doesn’t allow time for slowing down and taking a minute. Take advantage of this extra time you have to address your wants and needs. Put in some work to figure out what you want and how to put future steps in to attain those goals.
Most importantly, do whatever feels right for you. Take each day as it comes and stay in touch with those around you. Although you may be self-isolating, don’t isolate yourself from the people you love. Avoid social media when it begins to overwhelm you and trust that, like all things this too shall pass. We are all in this together. Be kind. Stay mindful. Keep safe.
Ciao for now x
For any enquiries or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact me.