Our impact Blogs How to Take Care of your Mental Wellbeing During the New Normal How to Take Care of your Mental Wellbeing During the New Normal We have all recently discovered that our lives can be suddenly turned upside down at the drop of a hat. The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly disrupted our daily routines. What emotions have you experienced? Has it been boredom, frustration, loneliness? You may have had some serious concerns about your job, your finances or your health. Whatever your emotional reactions to adverse events, it is vital that you take care of your physical and mental wellbeing. This article will outline some strategies you can implement to help you overcome any negative feelings you may have. It is important to remember that you should never hesitate to reach out for support, especially if you have a pre-existing mental health condition. Plan a daily routine and connect with others When life disturbs your regular habits, it could be time to adapt and perhaps pursue some new activities. You could start reading, learn how to cook or write a daily or weekly diary. Keeping in touch with your family and friends is also vital for your mental wellbeing. Don’t worry if you can’t meet face to face, there are alternatives; you can communicate over the phone, via video calls or through social media. If you live alone, you may wish to consider forming a support bubble with one or several other households. Maintain your physical wellbeing Your physical health can significantly impact your emotional and mental wellbeing. A lack of physical activity can lead to various health problems. In addition, it is imperative that you eat healthily and drink enough water. Even if you can’t leave your home, you can still do some exercise. Remember, physical activities are important as they can improve your mood and sleeping patterns whilst at the same time reducing your anxiety and stress levels. Here are some suggestions that will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. 1. Seek help if needed If you are feeling stressed, you should never rely on drugs, cigarettes or alcohol as coping mechanisms. If you need any support with your mental wellbeing, consider contacting your local community mental health nursing services. 2. Get enough sleep Anxiety and undue worrying can make it difficult to have a good night’s sleep. Here are some tips that should help you improve your sleeping habits. Go to bed when you feel tired and try to ensure you wake up around the same time every day. This will train your body to maintain a regular sleep cycle. It will be easier to fall asleep if your bedroom is dark and quiet. If you are worried about the following day, before going to bed, compile a list of things that might happen. This can significantly reduce your worries and enable you to go to sleep. If you still cannot sleep, get up and do some activities. Then, return to bed when you feel sleepy. Maintaining an active lifestyle will support your efforts to get eight hours of sleep every night. Also, remember to avoid coffee and caffeine a few hours before going to bed. 3. Manage any negative feelings or emotions Naturally, listening to the latest news about pandemics or economic difficulties can give rise to intense feelings of anxiety. If you are experiencing severe stress due to issues outside your control, you need to take action. You can begin by limiting the amount of information you obtain from watching the news or browsing social media platforms. Although it is important to keep up to date, you only need to do so once or twice a day. How to improve your positive mental outlook 1. Set goals If you set goals and then achieve them, you will experience a sense of purpose and control in your life. Do you have things to do at home? Compile a list and set a timeline to ensure you complete your everyday tasks. 2. An active mind is a healthy mind It is always a good idea to keep your mind active and focused as then there will be less time to feel depressed or worried. If you have lots of time on your hands, consider taking up the following activities: Reading Writing Games such as basketball or chess Puzzles, jigsaws or sudokus Drawing or painting Anything positive you enjoy doing 3. Relax and enjoy what you’re doing Worry and anxiety can cause you to lose touch with yourself and others. Fortunately, you can reconnect through mindfulness. This means directing your mind to process the present, including: Sights Sounds Smells Tastes Allowing yourself to be in the present moment can have a positive effect on your mood and outlook on life. How can mindfulness improve your mental health? Mindfulness will make you more aware of the thoughts and feelings you are currently experiencing. It allows you to take a step back and recognise that your thoughts are merely ‘mental events’ that don’t control you. Ask yourself this question: ‘Can I solve this problem by worrying about it?’ Being mindful can help you detect stress and anxiety so you can deal with the problem quickly and effectively. How to practise mindfulness 1. Notice the small things in your daily life Take some time to notice the little things in life, such as: The food you eat The air moving around you The sounds that you hear Although this may sound trivial, it can actually disrupt your ‘autopilot’ mode and allow you to appreciate life more. 2. Choose a regular time to practise mindfulness You can make yourself aware of the sensations around you in the morning as you wake up or when you go for a walk in the open air. 3. Slightly adjust some of your daily routines Sitting in a different seat at a meeting or visiting a new restaurant can help you see the world from a different perspective. 4. Take control of your thoughts Mindfulness cannot take away your undesirable thoughts or the things that make you worry. However, if you can see them as mental events, your feelings of anxiety may go away. You can try to calm your overactive mind by going for a walk or doing some gentle exercises, such as yoga. It is important to confront challenges head-on 1. Dealing with financial concerns Worrying about your job and financial matters can have a negative effect on your health. Fortunately, there are various online tools available that can help you deal with your finances. For example, you can learn how to determine which issues to prioritise first and where you can find help and support. 2. Seeking treatment and advice from support services If you need care and support for your mental wellbeing, you can reach out to the National Health Service and other health providers. The NHS can provide you with: Home visits or treatment Prescription medication Telephone or online consultations Conclusion In times of uncertainty, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic, people’s mental wellbeing can suffer significant harm. For instance, those with mental health problems relating to hygiene or washing can feel particularly vulnerable. Although you can follow government protocols, this may not be enough to combat your anxiety and panic attacks. Nevertheless, there are several useful techniques you can try to help calm your mind and emotions. For example, you can take up exercise, play games or read a book. In addition, mindfulness is a powerful mental health tool that can improve your mood and general outlook on life. If you need any help or support, don’t hesitate to contact the NHS or other health providers.