During this period of uncertainty, change of routine, and lack of freedom that we are all so used to, it is as important as ever to look after your mental health as well as your physical health. Some people have found themselves enjoying more time at home with family, time to take up a new hobby, or stay away from their stressful commute to work every day. However, many people have found themselves scrolling through social media, comparing their “quarantine life” to others, eating more and moving less, which can negatively impact their mental health.
Plan your day.
Creating a schedule to your day gives us a purpose, and motivates us to do the next task. It is proven that as humans, we like structure or routine, and we are so used to a routine on work days, yet a lot of us don’t stick to a routine when we are at home. Whether that is simply getting out of bed, making your bed, then having a shower, or ticking off a work task, a job around the house, or a workout. It creates a sense of accomplishment and gets us in the mindset to make the rest of the day more productive.
Communicate with friends and family; but limit scrolling through social media, and avoid negativity.
Social media can be positive, be a source of entertainment and a way to communicate with family or friends. During lockdown many people have reached to video calls for a way to replace their usual saturday night out, or speak to family that they are so used to seeing weekly. This can be vital for avoiding loneliness and take our minds off negative thoughts. However, by scrolling through social media, it stops us from doing other things that may bring joy to your day.
Doing nothing is ok.
I am sure many of us have been sat on the sofa, with one hand in a bag of crisps, and one with our phone in hand, spending hours watching our favourite series on Netflix. Some may feel guilty for not being that person that works out all day, renovates a house, or reads 50 books, but it is totally ok and normal to do nothing. You may need the rest, and it is important to realise that if you spending time enjoying something (whatever that may be), then it is not time wasted.
Food and drink is a huge part of people’s social life, and just because we are in lockdown, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue this. Firstly, eating a healthy, balanced diet is vital for bodily functions and gaining the nutrients we need to remain healthy and support our mental health. Additionally, cooking allows us to be creative and is a form of mindfulness as it takes our mind away from troubling thoughts and worries. It also allows us to create memories by simply cooking a meal for your wife, husband, friend, or whoever you live with, or you could cook together on video call.
Appreciate the little things.
It is important in these circumstances to appreciate small things that you are grateful for and that you may not have thought was important before lockdown. For example, you may not have appreciated a walk outdoors in the fresh air until you are not allowed to leave the house, or you may not have appreciated your garden until you realised that other people do not have one to roam freely in all day. It could be simply lighting your favourite candle, drinking tea from your favourite mug, hugging a loved one, or feeling healthy enough to walk up the stairs. By thinking or writing down the little things that bring joy to your lockdown, it shifts your mindset to positive, good energy that will help to improve your mental health.
Ceri Sedgwick has always had an interest in health and fitness. As a registered nurse working in critical care, she applies her health and physiology knowledge not only to her career but to her own training and nutrition. Through social media, she has worked with many fitness brands and local businesses around Liverpool, giving her an insight into PR and content creation.