As we come to terms with staying at home for another four weeks during a second national lockdown, many of us are worried about the impact it will have on our mental health.
The good news is there are five tried and tested ways to improve your mental health and wellbeing and over the next month we will support you, with daily ideas and inspiration, on our social media pages. So, here’s a start – try to build these 5 steps into each day.
Social relationships are vital for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health. Connect with the people around you, with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Use video calling, the phone and email to keep in touch with friends and family. Stick messages in your window to say hi to friends and neighbours, even if you can’t speak to them. Take the time to ask someone how they really are.
2. Be Active
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. Go for a walk, run or cycle. Do some gardening or dance. Exercising makes you feel good, especially if you discover a physical activity you enjoy. Go online to find free virtual group workouts, if you can’t get out or the weather isn’t good.
3. Take Notice
Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your wellbeing. Catch sight of the beautiful, remark on the unusual, notice the changing seasons. Be aware of the world around you and what you’re feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
4. Keep Learning
Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages a more active life. Try something new, rediscover an old interest, sign up for that course. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. As well as being fun, learning new things will give you more confidence and help maintain and improve your mental health and wellbeing. Check out our free, online courses.
Do something nice for a friend or stranger. Thank someone or smile. Volunteer your time. Seeing yourself and your happiness as part of the wider community can be very rewarding and creates connections with those around you.