I wanted to put together this post with ways to improve mental health during lockdown as I know it is going to be hard for a lot of people. This is a very difficult time that we are all facing and as well as looking after our physical health we need to also think about our mental health during lockdown.
A lot of us are going to be put into situations we are not used to being in and will find isolation a challenging time. I wanted to share a few tips/ideas to help anyone that is feeling overwhelmed by the current situation to find some calm.
Ways to Improve your Mental Health During Lockdown
Read a book
By taking time out to read a book this can really help your mind relax and for a period of time forget about your worries. As the saying goes ‘ lose yourself in a good book’. I always find reading takes my mind off things and helps me relax. Reading is especially good before bed as it will help you to sleep better.
This is because Reading will calm your mind and reduce stress hormones which will improve your sleep quality effectively. (Source – Hooktobooks)
If you have run out of books and are unable to go out to get a new one then why not look at kindle books. You can download the kindle app for free on phones and tablets and then using the kindle store you can have access to purchase thousands of books to read instantly. There are also so many indie authors with great kindle books at amazing prices.
Take a break from the news
I think we have all got caught up in the media storm around the Corona Virus and are constantly checking the news to see what the latest updates are. I am not normally one for the news but even I have found myself checking over and over again for updates and it can be so overwhelming.
If you find it is getting too much then taking a break from the news and social media can help. I don’t mean cutting yourself off completely but have a good few hours a day where you completely blank out the news and anything to do with the Coronavirus.
Listen to Music
Music is a great way to relax and try and take your mind off things for a bit. Although try and stay away from the radio as this will have lots of news and updates and you want to get away from listening to these if you want to relax. Even putting the music on and having a dance around will be a great benefit especially if you have little ones at home they can join in to.
I think exercise is going to be a key part in us all being able to stay sane during this tough time.
While you are able to, get out and enjoy walks or runs in the fresh air as much as possible. Please do make sure you stick to the current health guidelines and stay safe when out.
If you are self-isolating then setting a regular exercise routine is going to be crucial. It is so easy, especially when at home to brush off exercising and finding the energy to exercise can be hard. However, if you do manage to be motivated and keep exercising then you will find you have a lot more energy not to mention feel happier. When we exercise our bodies release endorphins which can trigger a positive feeling in the body.
A few ways you can exercise when self-isolating –
- Exercise from online videos. Youtube has lots of great workout videos including the Body Coach. If you want to sign up to more of a class where you have someone helping you stay motivated try signing up to an online exercise platform. A lady I follow Laura Bland runs an online health and fitness business and with the way things are at the moment, you will find a lot of your usual exercise clubs are going online, like a local one to me FitClub has done.
- Indoor walking. Being indoors it is easy to sit for long periods of time without moving so to combat this why not set yourself an hourly alarm to get up and walk around your house a set number of times.
- If you have stairs in your home and are able to, walk up and down the stairs a few times. You can see how many times you can do it and then increase it by 1 extra time every day.
- Dancing is a great way to exercise and is fun too. Just put on your favourite tunes and dance away until your heart’s content.
Being creative and taking part in any kind of art can help with mental health and can be a great distraction when times are tough. This could be in the form of colouring, drawing, painting, knitting, story writing and even photography and if you are finding yourself homeschooling children then these are activities you can all do together. Being creative is my go-to activity when I am feeling stressed, my favourites are photography, writing and painting.
For more on the benefits of art take a look at my other post Art is good for the soul (even if you are not very good at it)
Connect with people
Self-isolation doesn’t mean you have to shut yourself off from the world, just away physically from it. You can still connect with people over the phone, txt, social media or by video calling, so make it a priority to speak with at least one person a day that is not in quarantine with you.
This could be family members or friends and speaking with them will not only benefit you but will help them too. Social media is a great way to connect you with like-minded people from all over the world and can help you feel that you are not alone. However, do remember if you do start to feel overwhelmed again ensure you take a break from social media.
In these tough times, it is more important now to ensure you are regularly practising self-care. Just by setting aside a bit of time every day to carry out self-care can have a positive effect on your mental health. Some of the ways you can do this include –
- have a bath
- take a tea break
Take a look at my post self care tips for busy parents for some more ways to practice self-care.
Just remember that you are not alone we are all in this together.
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