World Mental Health Day 2020 – Our top tips to look after your mental health during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Mental health problems can be experienced by everybody regardless of your life circumstances and according to mentalhealth.org nearly half of adults think they have had a mental health condition at some point in their life. As 2020 saw the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic here in the UK, our mental health has suffered. A study found that levels of anxiety and depression fell in early June as lockdown began to ease which is good news for a lot of people. But these remained highest among young people, those with lower household income, people with a diagnosed mental illness, people living with children, and people living in urban areas.
If you are struggling right now, whether it’s related to Coronavirus or not, it’s important to take a step back and think, ‘How am I feeling right now?’, ‘what are my key worries?’ and ‘how does my body feel because of these thoughts?’. Once you have answered these questions you can think about what you can do to look after your mental health. Whether that’s practising some self-care, reaching out to somebody close or finding professional help. Struggling with our mental health can feel so overwhelming when we are trying to navigate it on our own.
Its these simple questions that is the start of you taking the time to look after your mental health. It’s called self-care. Did you know that self-care can help manage the symptoms mental health problems and keep them at bay from developing or getting worse?
Self-care is different for everyone, it is all about what you enjoy. Not sure where to get started? Here are a few of our favourite ways to practise self-care and in turn look after our mental health.
1. Natural light and fresh air
Natural light and fresh air are very important when it comes to our well-being because sunlight increases the production of the mood-enhancing chemical serotonin in your brain. If you’re working from home why not move your desk to the window or if you’re practising your self-care methods open your windows to air out the room and make the most of the natural sunlight. If you have household chores to do like ironing, make sure you set up near your window for that all-important light. Check our blog post all about making the most of your windows.
2. Find time in your day to do something you love
You’re too busy, right? It doesn’t have to be a long exercise. It could be picking up your favourite book and relaxing before bed, sitting quietly for five minutes to practise some mindfulness or getting out into nature to enjoy the beauty of your local area.
Love going to the gym? This is going to be an easy one. Or does that thought terrify you? Exercise could be as simple as going for a walk in the park. Booking onto classes can be difficult right now, but there’s loads of amazing online resources. Just type ‘yoga’ into YouTube for free tutorials. Or put on the music channels and have a dance! It’s also important to make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep and eating healthily.
4. Connect with people
Coronavirus has made this one tricky but connecting with people is so important to make yourself feel valued. Speak to your friends and family on the phone, on a video call or even send a simple text message. If you don’t have a supportive network around you then there’s so many groups on social networking channels that you can tap into. Love crafts? Search in Crafts on Facebook for hundreds of groups where you can talk to like-minded people.
Here are just a few of our self-care tips to keep your mental health problems at bay or to stop them from worsening. There’s so much more you can do to look after your mental health, check out the Mind website for more information. If you would like support with your mental health there are some fantastic help resources here or click here donate to World Mental Health Day.