Keeping Mentally Healthy During Lockdown

The Mental Health Foundation’s research survey shows that 1 in 6 adults experience mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time and infectious disease outbreaks like Coronavirus can negatively impact our mental health. It is important that we help one another to take the appropriate steps to improve our wellbeing in such uncertain and difficult times. 

Today kick starts mental health awareness week and this year’s focus is ‘kindness’. The Mental Health Foundation is raising awareness and challenging us to be kind to ourselves and others within our community. 

Many of us have spent months at home and some completely alone and in isolation. This has been a period in our lives like no other which has resulted in a new way of living excluding social activities. Those struggling with change may be experiencing loneliness, financial anxiety, work worries and stress. 

Now is the most crucial time to raise awareness about mental health and to ensure that we remember to show kindness now and after the pandemic. 

The Mental Health Foundation state: 

Kindness could transform our schools, places of work, communities and families. Let's shape a society that tips the balance in favour of good mental health, for all of us, but especially for those who are most vulnerable. 

Kindness is doing something towards yourself and others which is motivated by the desire to make a positive difference. We have outlined some tips on how to make a difference to all our lives. 

1) Switching off from notifications from news apps

It’s easy to spend time keeping updated with news but it would give you a mental break to switch these off throughout the day and could reduce anxiety and worry. 

2) Setting boundaries with those you live with

Many of us who house share or live with families will be managing working from home which can be very challenging. Let your housemates know your working times and where you’ll be working in the house. Offer available space or rooms to others when they aren’t being used for work. We may all start to feel overwhelmed being in one room all day!

3) Give yourself 30 minutes every day 

Give yourself a break and do something for you. Take action  and get active for 30 minutes a day, especially as the government are advising us to. This doesn’t have to be a run or a workout, it can simply be baking, knitting, drawing or gardening. If you have a skill you could set up a Facebook live session and teach people how to bake your special recipes! 

4) Reducing stress

If you are a key worker you could be under huge amounts of stress. Share your stresses with colleagues and use the stress bucket to offload. The stress bucket allows us to visualise what is causing us to feel overwhelmed. You can download the worksheet at Mental Health UK

5) Working from home with children

Attempting to finish that email can prove to be very difficult when entertaining or teaching a child at home… you can make the situation manageable by using a timetable. Check out this timetable from Mental Health UK. Remember exercise time, quiet time and outdoor time and try to split this up throughout the day. 

6) Mental Health and money 

The Covid-19 pandemic and the longer-term socioeconomic impact are likely to intensify financial inequalities and will also impact mental health. As it is a very stressful time for us, try to use tools to help manage your money better. Use the Mental Health and Money Advice budget planner online. 

7) Bloom resource library 

Engage in conversations about mental health with children at home. You can find a guide to help with starting discussions. Many young people will be feeling anxiety or stress due to school closures, uncertainty of when they will see friends and cancellation of exams. It’s important that we support them with our conversations and show empathy. 

For more tips and guidance for working effectively at home-  ‘8 Tips on How to Survive Working from Home’ 

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