Supporting Your Mental Health in Lockdown
Lockdown 2.0? Well, here we are. Read on for Coach Mike's tips and tricks on looking after your mental wellbeing at this tricky time.
Across the country and around the world 2020 has been a year of unheard changes to everyone’s way of life. Despite the fact we’ve been in it together, for some of us we may have never felt so alone. When back in March the world entered a lockdown, restricting travel, closing borders and encouraging people to stay inside we thought it might be a ‘one-off’. What’s clear now is we’re not quite out of the woods with local lockdowns looking likely for the foreseeable future and of course, lockdown 2.0 that we have been placed in for the month of November.
Just like physical health, it is important to be aware how lifestyle changes can impact our mental health both for the better and for worse. We might be encouraged to take advantage of the free time a lockdown brings to think about whether we were truly happy with the direction our lives were going in but for lots of people restrictions bring about feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and stress which can impact how we think, feel and manage these new ways of living.
Feeling nervous or anxious about what the future may hold is completely natural, especially in times of risk and uncertainty.
It’s equally natural to worry about the wellbeing of our loved ones who we may not be seeing because they are shielding, a key worker, or living far away. It is important to not only be aware that these feelings are natural to have, but also to be mindful of when they might start to become harmful to your wellbeing and ultimately your health. There has been a sharp rise in people experiencing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression as a result of isolation so we want to encourage everyone to take some small steps to take care of their minds.
Getting the right amount of sleep is a great step in supporting a healthy mindset and helping to keep our bodies in a normal rhythm . Aim to get between 7-9 hours each night, remember it is equally important not to continually oversleep and try to go to bed and get up at the same time.
This might be easier said than done, especially if you have children at home with you. But, trying to form some sort of daily routine will not only help reduce the amount of 'empty' time during the day but also keep your mind occupied throughout the day. If you're working from home give yourself clear working hours and non-working hours, if you're not try and form some daily habits to avoid getting sucked into movie marathons day after day
We can all remember when we were only permitted to leave the house for daily exercise, although we’re not under quite such tight restrictions it’s really important to continue to get exercise daily and if possible get outside to do it. From running to local walks, getting in the fresh air and moving will improve mood and help the body to keep active, exercise is an integral aspect of any healthy lifestyle because of its effects on both physical and mental health.
If it's possible try incorporating some home workouts into your daily routine. If you are feeling the effects of anxiety, guided yoga or relaxation can really help to quieten those worrying thoughts.
This might sound like a strange one, but you can allow yourself to be happy. Some people might struggle with this, feeling they shouldn't let themselves relax and feel happiness during these uncertain times. However, a little laughter each day will increase feel-good chemical that helps to maintain wellbeing and a healthy mindset. Catching up with friends over video chat or organising a family quiz light are great ways to relax the mood.
These are just a handful of steps that many people can action today. If lockdown has you feeling like you're alone, remember you are part of this community and we are here to support each other and offer tips on getting through this time of change.
Before you go...
Why not join in with online workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays to get in your regular exercise while still feeling you are part of the Fit Club Family (these are on Zoom, at the usual fit club session times. Sign up in the usual way via the Wix app. Sessions are free during lockdown. ) WFC Runners also have a virtual race series going on for the month of November.
For more information about either, please get in contact with us by using the chat function on our website/app.
Take care, Stay safe.