22nd January 2021
After almost 3 months of lockdown, people are understandably bored. Days seem even more groundhog like and box sets have been watched and rewatched… There is one thing that is decidedly unpredictable throughout all this, and that is mental health. Some days I find myself dancing to ABBA and making cake, others I just about manage to get out of bed. To help you readers get the balance and hopefully have more good days than bad, I’ve put together my top five tips to look after your mental health during this time, below.
It is really helpful to journal how you are feeling as getting thoughts down on paper is a good release. Taking each day as it comes and repeating positive affirmations to yourself is also useful. Give yourself credit for carrying on – its not a normal time at all.
Sometimes, sticking a YouTube video on with a calming voice telling you to focus on your breathing is the best tonic. Even if its just 10 minutes, it can be really beneficial. Tuning yourself out of your surroundings and relaxing refocuses your mind.
Before lockdown, I was pretty lazy. Usually I had to force myself to even walk to the bus stop. Lockdown has ultimately encouraged me to exercise and enjoy it. Having an exercise bike at home, my daily activity is on the bike and the endorphins are amazing. If you are having a slump, do some exercise and feel the brain fog clear.
Again, prior to lockdown I was not the biggest baker. Whipping up brownies, a Victoria sponge or some cookies has become a fairly regular occurrence. It is extremely therapeutic and helps to calm the mind, as well as creating some nice food to enjoy.
Having any rough routine is better than none. As a fairly anxious person, I thrive off structure in my day because I can control it. Writing a basic day plan the night before is sufficient for me. It is very satisfying to tick off tasks as you do them, even if they are things like ‘watch Netflix’. Ultimately, a routine helps you control your mind and is a positive way of staying in control.
Of course, if you are really struggling, please speak to someone. Whether it be a parent, friend, counsellor, talking is so important. For helplines and other information and support, visit the website of the charity Mind.
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