Coping with COVID-19: Protect Your Mental Wellbeing

The outbreak of COVID-19 has swept a wave of uncertainty across the world. Along with the uncertainty comes many other challenges. These may include financial pressures, not being able to see friends and family, fear of falling ill and drastically altered daily routines. Self-isolation can be a breeding ground for anxiety overload and those already suffering mental health disorders may find themselves really struggling. So how do we combat these concerns and get back into the driver’s seat of our mental health?

Limit exposure to news and social media

Let go of checking the news compulsively. Choose a couple of verified and reliable news sources and only check them once a day if you must. Worst case scenarios are often portrayed in the media which is not good for our mental stability.

Exercise

Getting your blood pumping not only makes you feel incredible and ready to face any challenges the day brings, it also increases your lung function and boosts your immune system. Find YouTube videos you can do in the comfort of your living room or set fitness challenges with friends. Aim for at least 20 minutes each day.

Eat right

You are what you eat, it’s as simple as that. Increase fruit, vegetables and drink lots of water. All the minerals and vitamins that Mother Nature provides are invaluable for your health. Try and limit smoking and drinking; while it’s okay to sometimes indulge, don’t use them as a crutch for stressful situations.

Connect

Schedule daily video or phone call catch ups with your loved ones. Everyone is missing each other right now and not being able to see one another is a foreign concept. Reach out, you never know who else may be feeling lonely and in need of some human interaction.

Create a daily routine and stick to it

Make a schedule and stick to it. Include when to set your alarm, which chores to do that day and when to watch television. It can introduce a sense of normality and you avoid aimlessly drifting around the house wondering which day it is today.

Take up something new

If you are struggling to avert your mind from worry and don’t have much to do then why not start learning a new language? Or even better, brush up on your cooking skills? Make a list of which skills you want to learn by the time self-isolation is over. Having goals and something to work towards is great motivation to get out of the bed in the morning.

Combat stress

If you do find yourself in a downward spiral of fear, have some tricks up your sleeve to stop it in your tracks. Chamomile tea has much more potent qualities than you realise. One cup can calm your nervous system and soothe your mind. Lavender drops in a bath is also a very therapeutic way to wind down. If you find you cannot self-soothe then reach out to someone you trust or a health professional. This site has a listed of NHS approved contacts you can connect with if you are feeling vulnerable: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

Meditation

If you do one thing, then take up meditation. Meditation is very powerful and actually rewires your brain. It is scientifically proven to relieve stress and improve your overall physical health. Here at James Andrews we’ve provided free access to meditation for our employees to cope during these times, with the brilliant Headspace app. The app helps anyone learn how to sit with their thoughts and become the observer. Living in the present moment has never been so important, and this is what meditation teaches us: to find peace in the midst of uncertainty.