Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 18th – May 24th is Mental Health Awareness week, this year the theme is ‘Kindness’ and let’s face it, it couldn’t be happening at a stranger or better time? One of the positive things to come out of the lockdown that we have found ourselves in – is our increased awareness of others and their needs. Who doesn’t know of a vulnerable neighbour or older family member who needs checking on? However, we’re so focussed on looking out for others that sometimes we neglect ourselves. So, how is your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic?
It’s essential to take time out, particularly during times of stress or uncertainty to assess your mood. Should you find yourself feeling low, there are things you can do yourself to help elevate your mood.
- Mindfulness – by taking the time to sit with your thoughts, you can uncover what’s bothering you. It’s not easy and takes time and practice. But, by being in the present and taking time out of your day to breathe and concentrate on how you feel in the now is not only calming but can also be very grounding. If you’re feeling stressed about the future mindfulness is an excellent way of appreciating where you are right now and not focus on the unknown.
- Get some fresh air – yes, you may not feel like it but getting outside (now that we can) can help your mental health. Going for a walk, paying attention to your surroundings and taking some deep breaths can be incredibly therapeutic (you’re also getting some exercise). Fortunately, this is happening now, in the Spring. Longer daylight hours mean we can go for an evening stroll rather than sitting on the sofa and watching the news (which, if we’re honest can be reasonably depressing anyway).
- Eat well – There’s never been a better time to hone your cooking skills, trying new food and recipes from scratch can be a creative experience. It’s also a great way of getting some healthy food into you. Step away from the junk, yes, it’s comforting and totally fine occasionally. But we all know a balanced diet helps you feel better, not only physically but mentally too.
- Talk – It’s difficult to reach out when you’re feeling low. Most people worry about ‘bothering’ others with their problems. Yet, if we all feel this way at some point then we must all know how difficult it is. Would you tell a friend they were bothering you if they reached out? No. The saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ says it all. Just opening up to one close friend or family member can be an enormous relief. If you do struggle to talk some organisations can help such as The Samaritans by dialling 116 123 (free) there is always someone there 24/7, 365 days a year.
Finally, it’s important to remember that this is a once in a lifetime situation we have found ourselves in. While it seems overwhelming at times, it will pass, and life will go back to some semblance of normality at some point in the future. The most important things to remember are to stay safe, stay sane & look after ourselves as well as others.Tags: COVID-19, mental health, mental health awareness week, the samaritans
Categorised in: General
This post was written by Charlotte K