Six super tips: lockdown and your mental health

During these uncertain times it can be hard to ignore the anxious feelings, negative thoughts and feelings of isolation. 

Now, more than ever, it is time to focus some time to maintain your mental health. Here are some tips from our Steps To Resilience course which might just help.
Step 1  Form a routine 
It can be hard because we can’t go anywhere but is important to establish a routine that works for you. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Get washed and dressed (even though you aren’t going anywhere).
Step 2 – Eat as healthily as you can
Boredom makes us snack and we tend to reach for whatever is closest. Try cooking and baking healthy meals and treats. Not only will this be better for your physical health but cooking and baking is a great distraction tool. It can be calming, creative and fun whether you are in isolation alone or with family.
Step 3 – Stay active 
This may be hard given the restrictions but remember that almost any physical activity can be considered a form of exercise – dance, yoga, pilates, hoovering, chasing the kids, walking in your garden if you have one, climbing stairs. Keep moving and try to do this for at least 30 mins a day. Exercise releases endorphins which make us feel good and moving about can help with any restlessness you may be feeling right now. 
Step 4 – Get enough sleep
Too much or too little sleep is no good for us and can make it difficult to deal with stressful or difficult feelings. Work on a relaxing bedtime routine and try and get into/maintain a healthier sleep pattern. 
Step 5 – Stay in touch
During lockdown it can be hard to maintain human contact, but it is very important. We humans are social beings and withdrawing from social contact can have a negative impact on our mental health. So stay in touch with friends, family, key workers etc. 

Step 6 – Have fun!
We know this sounds weird at a time like this, but research shows that play and laughter lighten our mood, facilitate a more positive outlook and more importantly it is fun. Play board games, have dance/karaoke competitions, dance to your favourite songs, play with your kids etc. It's absolutely ok to let a little light-heartedness into your lives during this time.

Looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health and is everyone’s concern, whether you have a mental health condition or not. If you are struggling right now with anxiousness and depression symptoms, acknowledge to yourself that this is an unusual time and your body and mind are trying to find ways of making sense and coping with the different situation it finds itself in.