As the UK goes into a national lockdown for the third time for at least 6 weeks, it has again raised awareness of the importance of our mental health and mental wellness, and making sure we get through this difficult time as best as possible. There are small actions we can take every day to help maintain mental wellness that will help us to feel in control of our days.
Below we’ve collated 5 mental wellness tips that you might find helpful:
This doesn’t mean completing a hardcore, intense workout if you don’t want to, but doing something that gets your blood pumping and releases endorphins to help you feel good will be hugely beneficial. A gentle home workout (there are loads of apps and online classes, and Joe Wicks is relaunching PE with Joe on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s), yoga, a walk, or even a short bike ride, will all help you feel good.
2. Keep talking
Although we can’t see loved ones face to face at the moment, it’s never been easier, or more important to keep connected with friends and family. A chat on the phone, FaceTime or even just texting friends and family throughout the day will make sure that you stay close to people and have space to talk about your worries or concerns. Although it may sometimes feel like it, you’re not alone in the things you will be feeling, and talking to loved ones will help you to rationalise these feelings and stay in a positive mental state.
3. Make time for reading
As our normal routines continue to be interrupted, you may find it harder to switch off at night. Making time to read before bed is a great way to help you wind down. Reading is also a pleasurable escape from reality at the moment, whether you get lost in a fictional story, or can’t stop turning the pages of a thriller, it’s a good way to switch off from the real world before a refreshing night’s sleep. A study has also found that reading for just 30 minutes was associated with lower blood pressure and significant reductions in stress.
4. Plan your day
Even if you’re not leaving the house, having a plan of things you want to get done in the day, and having routines to distinguish between morning, afternoon and evening will help keep a structure to your day. If you’re working from home, there are still also ways you can break up your day. Maybe you could go for a walk in the morning in the time you’d usually spend commuting, spend time making a delicious lunch that you might normally buy from a takeaway at work, and complete a workout to mark the end of your day.
5. Get outside everyday
Getting outside in nature, even if just for a short walk is so important for helping to improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress, as well as improving your physical health. If you really don’t feel like going, remind yourself that you’ll feel better for it afterwards, especially on a sunny day when you will also get a good Vitamin D boost. Walking is good for your health, easy to fit into your day, and is one of the best, safest, and completely free things that we can all do stay sane in this crazy time.
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