Maintaining Mental Well-Being during the Coronavirus

Routine

It can be very tempting, particularly for those individuals who have been prevented from leaving their homes, to stay in bed in the morning, and go to sleep much later than usual. Try to avoid this. Try to stick to as normal a sleep routine as possible (an afternoon nap should suffice).


Healthy Eating

It can also be very tempting to reach for the snacks when bored. It’s useful to plan healthy meals throughout the day – ideally, fresh and home cooked! Don’t know how to cook? This can be a great time to learn! There are some amazing recipes and video tutorials online!


Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to look after your mental health. If you are able to go for a walk or a run, try and incorporate this in your daily routine. It is also possible to exercise within the confines of your own home. Even if you don’t have access to a home gym, there are numerous resources online, and apps which can support you to have regular access to fitness related activity. Apps such as Nike Training specialise in home based workouts (with or without equipment), and have Yoga & Pilates tutorials.

In addition to accessing regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet, its worth limiting the amount of alcohol you are consuming. It’s always best to avoid smoking at all times. Get as much access to fresh air as possible. If you have concerns about your physical health, contact your GP.


Social Interaction

To minimise the risk of social isolation, it is important to maintain contact with family and friends. If possible, spend time in company with close friends, although this must be in line with the most up-to-date guidance from the Government. Utilise Yapa, WhatsApp etc. to keep in touch. FaceTime and Skype are also incredibly useful resources during any periods where there is an enforcement of social distancing.


Mental Wellbeing

Relaxation and mindfulness can be very useful techniques when maintaining your mental health. There are a huge number of resources online. If you’ve never tried relaxation or mindfulness, this can be a really good opportunity to give it a go! It’s also incredibly effective in helping manage difficulties such as anxiety, and depression.


Activities

It is also important to have regular access to leisure activities. Restrictions on movement can of course provide some challenges, but this may be the opportunity you’ve always dreamed of to have time to try new things! Some suggestions of leisure activities are listed below, and remember, as part of a balanced routine, there’s no need to feel guilty about spending time watching your favourite box sets on Netflix!
Cooking; Arts & Crafts; watching movies and TV programmes; Gaming; Gardening; Walks (subject to government advice); Music (ever wanted to learn how to play the guitar – now is the time!); Reading & Writing are just some examples of simple activities that you can get involved in.


Opportunity for Personal & Professional Development

This could be a great opportunity to explore personal and professional development. That business you always wanted to start, or that book you always wanted to write! Now is the time! This can also be a great time to explore opportunities for training or further education. Training bodies such as the Open University offer a range of distance learning opportunities, including hundreds of free online training modules!


Contact with Employer & Employees

It is of paramount importance that employers maintain regular communication with their employees. Regular telephone and email contact can be a useful approach in minimising social isolation. Keep any communication interesting, and fun where possible. The use of Yapa and WhatsApp groups can be effective in maintaining the strong bonds within organisations. Certain organisations and individuals are in a privileged position, and have a significant platform in the local community. Consider using social media channels to share up to date expert advice from NHS/ HSE, government etc.

Consider sharing information in this post regarding tips for well-being with your friends and family; colleagues etc. Many thanks to the guys at willowgrove.consulting for putting together this great article!

If you are worried about your mental health or that of a friend or family member, speak with family or friends. It’s always recommended to seek expert advice from your GP.