Mental Health Awareness
Mental Health Awareness
In the midst of everything that’s going on, taking the time to focus on our mental wellbeing has never been more important. We’ve been looking at a few simple ways you can look after yourself.
When we’re all isolating at home, often away from family and friends, it’s easy to feel lonely, get caught up in our own heads and start overthinking. Talking about what you’re going through is a great way to see things from a different perspective, and remind you that you’re never on your own. Whether you’re feeling good, bad or stressed, there is always someone there to listen. This could be friends, family, colleagues, or even helplines.
Mindfulness and meditation aren’t all about chakras and crystals. They are simply about staying in the present moment, and taking time to pause from everything that’s on your mind. Take 5-10 minute breaks as often as you need, or whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, and just focus on what you can see and hear around you. There are plenty of apps and videos for guided meditations, and they’re a helpful way to relieve anxiety.
Keep a sense of routine
When we’re restricted in what we can do, the days can feel as though they’re blurring into one. While the idea of a two month long weekend might sound great in theory, creating a routine and sticking to it can help to give a sense of structure. Try getting up and starting work at the same time every day, scheduling in tasks you need to get done (such as work), as well as activities for your own wellbeing (exercise, breaks). Small and simple things like this can make a big difference in how productive we feel.
Create a sense of purpose
It’s easy to feel lost, and lose our motivation when every feels the same. Giving yourself a sense of purpose can be as simple as making a to-do list of five things you want to achieve each day. It could be longer term goals and values, or it could be starting up a new hobby (with the lack of flour on the supermarket shelves, our money’s on a lot of people getting into home baking…). These kinds of clear actions and challenges are a great way to motivate us and give us a sense of confidence and achievement.
When we’re living and working in the same place, it’s easy to end up working longer hours and lose our work life balance. Set a time for yourself when you finish work for the day, and if you can, literally switch off your work screens. Give yourself time to breathe and relax away from work. If you have the space, try working in a separate room from where you relax. Your mind will start to associate one space with work, and one space with downtime, making it easier to switch off.
You don’t need a gym membership, 12 week workout programme, or fancy home equipment, but looking after your physical health has a direct link to mental health. Stretch out your body, walk around the house, get outside to soak up the sun and get some fresh air. Anything that keeps your body moving builds up your physical strength, releases endorphins, and helps to give you a better night’s sleep, which are all great for our mental health.
Be kind to yourself
And finally, go easy on yourself. This is a strange and stressful time for the entire world, and it is a normal, human reaction to feel overwhelmed. Treat yourself as you would treat a friend. Be kind to yourself, be kind to the people around you, and remember we’re all in this together.
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