FIVE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Thursday 19 March 2020
Social distancing and working from home can be stressful. Here are five ways to stay mentally strong.
1 Limit your intake of news
An overload of information can increase our anxiety. Resist the urge to follow every detail. Instead, choose a credible source for news and limit yourself to checking for updates once or twice a day. Turning off news notifications on your smartphone will also limit intrusions into your day.
You may also find it helpful to mute WhatsApp group notifications or certain key words on Twitter.
2 Embrace video-calling with friends and family
There are many ways to stay in touch remotely and now is a good time to embrace video calling. The emotional richness of face to face conversations cannot be replicated through text messages or emails, so if you want to feel connected forget about how you look and say hello with your face.
Try meeting friends and colleagues for a meal or glass of wine over Skype. And don’t forget to check in with those who live on their own, even a five-minute chat can help to alleviate loneliness.
3 Develop a new routine
Familiarity helps reduce anxiety and so consider adjusting your routines. What do you need to feel good? Most of us benefit from eating well, staying hydrated and exercising.
Fresh air and sunlight also make us feel good – if you can’t go outside perhaps you can find a sunny spot by the window or listen to a podcast on the balcony.
4 Join an online exercise class or take a course
Exercising at home can be challenging with children, partners and pets vying for attention. Agree to schedule an undisturbed slot for exercise for each of you.
Yoga, Pilates, barre and HIIT can all be done in relatively small space. Explore what’s on offer online and use your exercise slot to try it out.
Why not take the opportunity to learn that language you have wanting to? Sign up for an online course and learn something new.
When you find something you like, incorporate it into your new routine – your body and mind will thank you.
5 Reignite your hobbies
Are there things you love doing but don’t have time for? It’s easy to mindlessly binge on Netflix shows but what if you embraced your creative side by rediscovering your love for cooking, writing, drawing, sewing or DIY.
Perhaps you have a musical instrument or favourite music track that you find uplifting. It could get you (and your family) dancing around the kitchen!