From William and Kate to the government, it’s not escaping anyone’s notice that living during a pandemic is taking its toll on people’s mental health.
It’s not just key workers, NHS frontline workers or members of parliament who are trying to navigate their way through unchartered territories. Parents that have to home school their children, elderly people who live alone, those who have loved ones affected by Covid-19, couples whose relationship was already on the rocks, teenagers who are craving freedom and fun – everyone is affected to some degree.
Let’s get one thing straight. Feeling worried, anxious or stressed at this time is completely normal. Whether you’re concerned about getting the virus, how to get food, how to manage your finances or feel like you’re falling apart without your daily routine, it’s ok not to be ok.
The other thing to be aware of is that you are not alone. In fact 4 in 5 adults are worried about the effect that Coronavirus is having on their lives with nearly half reporting high levels of anxiety.
That’s why we’ve decided to offer all online therapies for donations only during the lockdown. We’re here if you need a non-judgemental ear to listen to you, we have tips and techniques that can help reframe some of your worries and concerns and we can help you gain a more helpful perspective on the situation you find yourself in.
We don’t want any concerns about finances stopping you getting the support you want during this time, hence our ‘donations only’ work. Please call us on 07971 509997 to book in, or use our contact form. All consultations take place via Zoom, Skpye or the telephone. In the meantime, here are six tips to help you manage overwhelm and stress:
Use your outside time
The government are advising us to get outside once a day to exercise. While it can feel more tempting to stay at home under the covers, exercising outdoors has been shown to boost mental health by releasing endorphins into the body. If you have a garden make the most of that too – taking care of your space will help you to feel better about yourself.
Find something to laugh about
They say laughter is the best medicine – think back to how good it feels to have a really good laugh. It can lift your mood and keep you feeling more upbeat, so watch some funny videos on YouTube, binge watch a comedy box set, read a funny book or have a telephone call with a friend who shares your sense of humour.
Spend time doing things you love
It’s important to carve out some ‘me time’ every day, even if you have to wait until the kids are in bed. Use this time to indulge in a hobby you enjoy, get stuck into something creative, take a long bath or read. The housework can wait and, if your children are now home all the time, they can help out with the chores anyway!
Focus on gratitude
It’s easy to focus on the things we don’t want, but gratitude has been shown to support mental health. Each day, before going to bed, recall three things you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter how small they are, it’s about training your brain to look for the good stuff. Then spend time feeling the feelings that go with that and allow them to expand. This will start to rewire your brain to focus on the good in life instead of worrying about the things you can’t control.
Make non-contact contact with people!
Even though you can’t visit friends and family, there are other ways to stay connected. We have modern technology at our fingertips and now is the time to use it. Talk to friends and family on the ‘phone, or set up a conference call on Zoom – it’s free for 40 minute meet ups. You can also join online groups to meet virtually with other people who share your interests. Why not sign up for an online exercise class or singing group?
Limit your news intake
If you’re prone to worry about things, it’s really important to consider how much news you read or listen to. When you do read updates, only get them from reputable sources – the mainstream media often use scary and sensationalist headlines that can increase your anxiety. You might like to limit yourself to a set amount of time a day in which you’ll get the latest updates but make a promise to yourself that after that you focus on other more enjoyable things.