May
25
Author
Jubilee+ Team
Mental health in COVID-19 times

In this current climate it’s likely we’ll all have times when we’re struggling with poor mental health. Maybe you’re also supporting people with phone calls or practical help. Here are some suggestions to take on board yourself as well as to gently pass on. (Remember you need your own oxygen mask on before beginning to help others!)

6 Foundations of Good Mental Health

Here are some really practical little steps to build on:

Sleep – Sleep has a significant impact on psychological health.

Nutrition – If we eat well, our body responds with positive hormones that help our brain feel good too.

Movement – It’s good to get that heart rate up, even for 30 mins a day. Take a walk near to your home, or follow one of the great online free courses like Joe Wicks!

Connection – There has possibly never been a time that it’s been more important to talk, we need to keep relationships alive.

Rest – Simple breathing exercises can reduce stress levels in the body; just 2 minutes still and focused on steady deep breathing has a positive impact.

Purpose – Set yourself small challenges each day and remind yourself things may have changed but you still have purpose for your existence.

Practical tips for self-care during social distancing

  1. Stick to a routine. It helps to find some normality in a really unusual time.
  2. Get out at least once a day. Both the fresh air and the exercise you will get from this will help your mental wellbeing.
  3. Find a regular sleep pattern. – Try to have 7 ½ – 9 hours sleep.
  4. Stay hydrated and eat well. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods.
  5. Prepare a self-care kit. These are great for those times when you’re feeling low. Anything that stimulates your different senses is great for helping you relax and feel calmer eg. Candles, facemasks, colouring.
  6. Spend extra time playing with children. Children are less likely to ‘say’ how they are feeling but more likely to show you. Give them the time and space to express their own emotions but expect their behaviour won’t be perfect. This is their way of telling you how they feel. Just be there for them, talk soothingly, offer hugs if needed and listen!
  7. Forgive and let things go quicker than you ever usually would. This is a strange experience for us all and it can increase arguments.
  8. Find something to be grateful for each day. Even if it is a collective thank you to all the people still working and volunteering to support others.
  9. Throw out the ‘expectations!’ It is unlikely anyone is able to get work, school and home all perfect and when you’re doing all three under the same roof? Give yourself a break! Do what you can and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.
  10. Don’t plan too far ahead. Just look at the next day or two. None of us knows how long this will last but remind yourself it is temporary and aim to focus on today, and not worry about next week.
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This post is replicated here with permission of Safe Families.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by guest contributors are those of the author. Although broadly in keeping with the objectives of Jubilee+, the views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Jubilee+ team and directors and/or other contributors to this site.

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