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Five ways to protect your mental health whilst socially distancing

9th October, 2020

As we head into what could be several weeks of limited access to our normal routine and in-person interaction with other people, many of us will be feeling a high degree of anxiety and anticipated loneliness.

To help relieve some of this apprehension, here are some ways to prepare and manage your day-to-day activities, to reduce the negative emotional impact for yourself and for others.

Focus on the positives

Focus on what you can do during this time, maybe organise, read, rest, cook, exercise and play, take advantage of being able to complete things that have been on your to do list. As a nation, we are accustomed to getting things done as quickly as possible, sometimes we need to stop and relax a little.

Don’t overload on news

Staying informed can make you feel in control, but the constant news reports can also become overwhelming. Try to limit the amount of time you spend reading or listening to the news and make sure you are using a reliable source of information such as the government website. If you find yourself constantly reading about the pandemic, even when you are browsing social media, it might be a good idea to have a few days social media free to allow your brain to have a rest

Set a schedule

With so much uncertainty, sticking to a routine can really help maintain a sense of normality. Things like eating around the same time as usual, dedicating time to work and rest. Although, there are certain restrictions in place about socialising with other people, that does not mean you have to cut yourself off from the world. Book in regular virtual catch ups with friends and family so you don’t feel lonely. Having a chat with others is also a good way of sharing any worries you may have.

Keep calm and look after your mental health

Like at any other time, it’s important that you are not only looking after your physical health but your mental health too. Think about some activities that can help when you are feeling overwhelmed, like breathing techniques, yoga, playing music, doing a puzzle and talking to a friend. Try to avoid turning to stimulants like alcohol which can leave you feeling worse. Check out some relaxation and mindfulness tips.

Help others

If you are feeling well in yourself and are able, reach out to family or neighbours who may be struggling. Apps such as Next Door allow you to interact with neighbours, discuss community news and let people know what you can do for them. Being helpful and staying active can help distract you and boost feelings of self-worth.

Remember, this pandemic will eventually end, and most importantly we are having to follow government guidelines to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. As gloomy as the world seems right now, please keep in mind that better days will come.

 

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