How to look after your mental health right now
We are living in difficult times. A health pandemic, economic challenges, social restriction and new ways of working mean that the covid-19 crisis is having an impact on our mental health. It’s important that we take care of our health and wellbeing right now.
Here are our tips for managing mental health right now:
Hear a voice
Many of us are working from a quiet home, which can be isolating, so make sure you keep talking. These days we often email and text rather than call, but it’s just not the same. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and hear someone’s voice!
See a face
People are social creatures. A great deal of what we communicate to each other will not be what we say but also how we say it — the tone of voice, the expression on the face. Using video to have calls means it can be easier to communicate and understand. Why not have a Zoom party or a Skype hangout, and gather together a group of friends for a good catch up?
Mix it up
Explore new ways of approaching things - brush your teeth with your other arm, or sit in a different chair. Rather than plan things out, improvise a little. It’s a great way to stay adaptive.
Exercising our creative muscles has been proven to help people manage their mental wellbeing. Jot down thoughts or create images that spontaneously come. Dance around the kitchen when the mood takes you. Even playing charades if you have family around, or doing Pictionary on apps can help.
Fuel your brain
It’s important to keep our brains and bodies nourished. When we’re hungry it’s difficult to think clearly and calmly. Improving diet may help to give you more energy, help you think better, and give you more energy. A diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats is good for our brains. And of course drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
With always on technology, it can be easy to be busy all the time. But you don’t need to. It’s important to set boundaries. Work may generally be becoming more flexible and fluid, but it’s important to keep space in your life for relationships, hobbies, health and wellbeing. Turn off your devices just before bed, and carve out some time for yourself.
Get some rest
Sleep makes a big difference to how we feel. It’s important that we not only get enough, but get good quality sleep. Stick to a routine and try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. if you’re used to having to get up early to catch a train and no longer need to commute, embrace that extra half hour, but don’t lay in all day!
Just being in nature has also been shown to have beneficial mental health effects – and you only need 15 or 20 minutes a day. Try just sitting out in the garden whilst you eat your breakfast – a great way to get some vitamin D, which helps regulate mood.
Move your body
We know that exercise is good for our mental health. Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve mood, reduce stress, and release tension. It also promotes changes in the brain, including neural growth and reduced inflammation. Move your body every day, whether it’s going for a short walk, or just stretching. Find the joy in movement. You can always sign up for our online courses here.