Four things you can do to maintain good mental health during the lockdown
We’ve just got winter out of the way, and things were starting to look up. Nights were getting lighter and warmer. It was easier to get out of bed on the mornings…
But then Covid-19 ruined our plans and has essentially thrown everything up in the air. Weddings have been rescheduled, holidays cancelled, the best part of the year has started disappointingly.
It’s extremely important that we follow government regulations so we can get self-isolation guidelines and travel bans lifted as quickly as possible by remaining indoors to prevent the spread of the virus.
However, we know that this is having a significant toll on our mental health. So, to help you to cope here are four tips on how to beat the blues and survive self-isolation.
1) Keep active
With the unpredictable British weather, taking advantage of the one form of exercise per day and staying active can be demotivating when it’s raining – and let’s be honest, it rains a lot in the UK.
Try not to slip into an unproductive and sluggish routine by going to bed late, waking up late, and not leaving the house every day for a walk, either alone or with your household.
Avoid scrolling through social media endlessly and binge-watching series all day with nothing else to do as this can make you feel a lot more negative.
So regardless of the weather, and when you’ve got nothing to do, grab your men’s or ladies umbrella and head outside for some fresh air and stretch those legs. Whether it’s for an hour or 15 minutes, reset your mind after being stuck indoors all day. If you’re feeling lethargic, you’ll find that this wakes you up and awakens energy in you.
2) Try cooking healthy meals
Never underestimate the benefits of eating healthily. Indulging in unhealthy comfort food might seem appealing to beat the self-isolation blues, but this will make you feel worse. Do your best to eat well, and even spend some time experimenting with new meals and testing your skills.
If you have felt rushed off your feet from work and life and you lived off ready meals and takeout, take pride in your cooking!
Don’t eat the same sort of meals routinely and try to eat a diverse diet with different spices and cuisines – diverse food is good for our gut bacteria and microbes, which are crucial to your immune function and weight regulation.
If you want to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need, vitamin D is a nutrient we struggle to get from food alone that we usually get from the sun. As we spend significantly less time outside, this vitamin is great for healthy bones, muscles, and teeth.
3) Limit the news
Of course, it’s important to keep up with current affairs usually and broadening our knowledge with goings on in the world. But with the 24/7 coverage of Covid-19 dominating headlines, it can be quite wearing on our mental health.
According to WHO, a constant stream of news about an outbreak can cause people to feel anxious or distressed. Switch off and seek guidance at specific times when you want to dispel fake news.
4) Do things that make you happy
Does make-up make you feel happy? Do you like wearing smart clothes? Well, don’t stop! Just because you’re in the house doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing ‘micro-lifts’, which are things usually scattered throughout our day that lift us up without us realising.
The cumulative effect of missing out on these things that makes us feel good can have a damaging effect on our mood, so look after yourself!
If you are struggling with happiness right now, find out the five elements we need to be happy here – and how to get them.
Photo by Emma Simpson