Life as we know it has certainly changed during the past few months and a normal day is not what it was like this time last year. These unprecedented times can cause changes within our mood and attitude throughout our day to day lives. It is easy to find yourself becoming lethargic which can have a domino effect on other aspects of your life, this is being referred to as lockdown cabin fever.
Many changes have happened and the unknown can strike some fear into our lives. It is tough but we all need to remember that everyone around us is experiencing the global pandemic and that means everyone can hold out a hand of guidance to one another (virtually of course).
During mental health week, The Kings Ferry Group wants to address some common issues with mental health that can be heightened during this period of lockdown and provide ‘7 top tips’ to practice during these times that will enable us to keep our spirits up!
TALK – It is easy to shut ourselves away from the world and our loved ones, especially when we are limited to who we can see and where we can go. We may not be able to go meet up for a coffee but this does not mean that there are not other ways to talk.
Communicating about how you are feeling during lockdown will help to take some weight off of your shoulders. We are lucky that we have the technology to be able to video call and text close family and friends. You may feel worried to express your feelings, but one thing to remember is that we are all in the same situation and all have worries in these unsure times, so you may be as much help to others as they are to you. Bottling up your problems or concerns can have a negative effect and as the saying goes – a problem shared is a problem halved.
‘Give us a shout’ is a mental health support helpline where you can speak to someone anonymously. https://www.giveusashout.org/get-help/
DOCTORS – A common worry is being able to contact your doctors regarding non-COVID19 related issues. People are putting aside other health concerns as they believe that the pandemic is the main priority. The current climate is of course a high priority for local doctors, however this does not mean that doctors are only there if you are showing signs of the virus.
The doctors are there to help the health and wellbeing of patients no matter the circumstances. Times like these can cause a lot of stress, anxiety and of course having to stay at home can be lonely and demotivating. If you’re not OK then do not hesitate to contact your doctors via the phone and have over the phone consultations.
‘Better Help’ is an online support website that can help with a wide range of mental health concerns. https://www.betterhelp.com/helpme/
MEDITATION – There are many forms of meditation that target certain areas of mental health such as anxiety, stress and low/demotivated mood. Taking 10 minutes out of your morning before you begin your day can have a positive turn around on your mood which then reflects on what type of day you may have. There are certain meditation techniques that can help you specifically during these tough times and get you through lockdown with a positive attitude and a new viewpoint on life. Youtube offers loads of free videos that you can use to meditate and all you need to do is find a quiet place and relax- this can even be a relaxing outdoors spot.
JOURNAL – Sometimes it’s hard to say everything you want out loud, even to a stranger on the phone. The worry of not being understood or having to explain yourself for why you feel the way you do. Some things just need to be taken off your shoulders in a quick and easy manner, you can do this by writing in a journal. This journal will help you express every emotion on paper and the best thing is the papers don’t speak. Anything you say is confidential and no explanation is needed.
Struggling to sleep? Write in your journal like this is a person you are confiding in. Feeling stressed or anxious? Write all that is on your mind in this journal and answer your own questions and concerns – you may find you can give yourself the advice you need. No structure, no rules, just whenever you need to release some pressure you can start writing.
EXERCISE – This is one of the main things that during lockdown we can still do and due to the new lockdown restrictions we can travel to new places for walks, runs and bike rides. Exercise is important for our body but not just to say physically fit. Exercise can help with your mental wellbeing too and help to give you some focus for your day ahead. This does not have to be anything intense and does not have to be for long. Yoga or Pilates is perfect for exercising the mind as well as your body and this can be achieved indoors as well as outdoors. Another key piece of evidence during lockdown is to try and get out of the house once a day whether this is for a walk or something more active.
For any beginners wanting to do some slow paced exercise, here is an online pilates instructor who teaches via videos on different workouts. https://www.yourpilatesphysio.com/PilatesForBeginners
HOBBY – Many of you may be on the furlough scheme or education has been closed. This means that your day to day routine has been affected and you may be struggling to fill your day. This is the perfect opportunity to get skilled at something new, something that you could not find the time to do before. This could be something creative indoors or outdoors in your garden, reading a new book or practicing your skills in the kitchen. This time off from normality could be your time to reinvent yourself or get back in touch with something you used to enjoy.
Check out our Lockdown challenge blog to get some inspiration on things to do from The Kings Ferry team! https://clarkescoaches.co.uk/we-challenge-you/
NHS WEBSITE – Our NHS have been our heroes during this crisis, not only within the hospitals and care homes but also through the NHS website. Every Mind Matters is a mental health section on the NHS website where various support and activities are available for individuals in need of some guidance during COVID-19. There is a survey which asks questions regarding how you are feeling and this can customise the information given to you regarding the areas you are concerned about the most. This can vary in exercises including muscle relaxing, workouts, and links to certain concerns like finances, housing and life changing events. This plan can be edited to your preference and emailed to you personally.
Check out the NHS website for support and guidance from your home. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
Please remember you are not alone and it is OK to not be OK, all you need to do is talk and build on being positive.
Together we can beat this!