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Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak

 

With the world in crisis due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are being advised by the government to stay home and only go outside for essential items.

This means we have a different rhythm of life where our regular social activities will no longer be available to us. Those who we socialise with regulary, we will no longer be able to visit in person in order to stay safe from the virus.

This can be a difficult time for our mental health and a shock to the system when we are unable to get on with our daily life.

It is important to create a new daily routine to keep our brain active and prioritise ourselves. You could try reading a book, watching a movie/tv show or start a daily excersise routine which has been proved as the best way to release enorphins in to our body.

The Mental Health Foundation have some top tips on staying healthy when at home.

  1. Plan your day

  2. Start each day roughly at the same time and aim to set aside time each day for movement, relaxation, connection and reflection.

Move more everday

Being active reduces stress, increases energy levels, can make us more alert and help us sleep better.

Explore different ways of adding physical movement and activity to your day and find some that work best for you.

Try a relaxation technique

Relaxing and focusing on the present can help improve your mental health and lighten negative feelings.

Try some different meditation or breathing exercises to see what helps. For example, sometimes we can be so tense that we do not even remember what being relaxed feels like. Progressive muscle relaxation teaches you to recognise when you are starting to get tense and how to relax.

Connect with others

There are many creative ways to connect with your friends and family. A fun app to try is”Houseparty”, a social networking app that enables group video chatting. The app allows you to play games with friends and is a fun way to pass the time.

Take time to reflect and practice self-compassion

Make time every day to reflect on what went well. It’s important to recognise your successes and the things you are grateful for, no matter how small. Consider keeping a gratitude journal each day where you could write two or three of these things every night before you go to bed.

Get creative

Try your hand at painting, drawing and crafts. These activities help keep your mind busy and you may even find a new hobby in the process.

Another creative activity is learnig how to bake or cook. Self isolation is the perfect way to brush up on your culinary skills.

 

 

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