Are you anxious about your health? Stressed about how coronavirus might affect your finances? Frustrated that you can’t see your mates or do all the things you love doing? You’re not alone. Here at KBPT, we completely understand why we have to stay at home but that doesn’t mean we don’t find it hard sometimes.
In fact, half of UK adults (49%) say they feel more anxious or depressed than usual, more than a third (38%) say they are having trouble sleeping and a fifth (19%) have argued with their family or housemates. Furthermore, after several weeks of lockdown, a quarter of UK adults (24%) say they are feeling lonely.
So, how can you look after your mind as well as your body at this difficult time? The NHS recommends following these five steps to mental wellbeing:
1. Connect with other people
Even though you can’t see your mates or relatives in person, there are loads of ways you can stay in touch. Text them, email them, WhatsApp them, FaceTime them. Get together on Houseparty or Zoom for a virtual cuppa/glass of wine or a full-blown dinner party. You might even like to go old school and pick up the phone for a good old natter! Try to be open with everyone about how you’re feeling and offer them support too.
2. Be physically active
We’re biased, of course, but this is really important. Doing exercise is not only good for your physical health, it’s great for your mental health too – it causes chemical changes in your brain that can help to boost your mood. So, switch off Netflix and make the most of your one daily exercise outdoors (walk, run, bike ride) or do some stuff at home – email Kate to find out about doing KBPT training via Skype or FaceTime and check out our Wednesday Workouts @KBPT on social media.
3. Learn new skills
It seems like there’s a lot of pressure on us to be super-productive while we’re at home but it’s for good reason. Learning something new gives you a sense of purpose and can boost your self-confidence. Start small (cook a new recipe, do some DIY) or, if you’re feeling ambitious, how about teaching yourself to code or taking up yoga? Check out the Evening Standard’s epic list of ‘80 things to do at home’, which includes livestreaming the Northern Lights, catching a DJ set live from Berlin and making pasta with an Italian nonna.
4. Give to others
How amazing to see so many people volunteering and fundraising at this time (Captain Tom, you’re an inspiration!). There’s a real sense of community coming out of this crisis. Acts of kindness can give you a sense of purpose and help you connect with other people. How about offering to pick up something from the shops for your neighbour? Or signing up to one of the Mutual Aid COVID-19 groups?
5. Pay attention to the present moment
We’ve blogged about mindfulness before – it’s a really useful tool for lowering anxiety and stress. While you’re at home, see this as an opportunity to slow down. Listen to the birds, savour your food, focus on your breathing. You could even download a mindfulness app to get you started. At a time when everything seems out of your control, it pays to focus on small moments of joy.
Finally, here’s a top tip for changing your mindset at this time that we saw on Insta the other day: “You’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home”.
Take care everyone.
Get more advice about good mental wellbeing and NHS-approved apps on the Good Thinking website