With the inescapable topic of Covid-19 being on everyone’s lips, it is unsurprising that is having a profound effect on all our mental health ranging from low mood to constant anxiety, to the general feeling of un-comfortableness but this is perfectly understandable and perfectly natural to feel like this.
So, why does lockdown feel so challenging?
Given the uncertainty in our country at the moment, with some news reports saying that we can ease, but others preparing for the worst in months to come, the lockdown has felt very overwhelming for so many people. It is tough to find any normality within your environment, particularly if you’re living alone or away from your family or friends as you may not be able to see people you used to frequent with, or simply may miss general socialization, whether that be in work or with friends. Whatever your feelings, it’s important to know that you are not alone, and it is okay to feel how you do and that you are doing your best in this new world scenario.
What can we do to help our own mental health?
“Be Kind” is a saying that’s floating around, and its importance should not be forgotten, particularly towards oneself. Being kind to yourself can stretch from finding a new hobby to cheer yourself up, getting a good sleep routine or simply taking some time out when it all gets too much. Our biggest critics are always ourselves, and it is important to identify now more than ever to what our own selves need to achieve happiness and productivity. Never compare yourself to others, as everyone’s minds are different; that’s the beauty of being human.
What can we do to help others?
Look out for people. Not just friends, neighbours, colleagues or family members that you haven’t seen for a while. Although it is impossible to know what difficulties other people are facing, we are united in this tough situation. Gather strength from the fact we are all pushing through this together. Reach out to people, set aside time in the week to do this (if you feel able too), as it will benefit your own health as much as others’. Sometimes a simple text message can go along way!
It is okay to reach out for help, and a couple of services are able to do this:
The Mental Health Foundation offers some great tips about coping during this time: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus
Apps such as “Headspace” and “Calm” are great to unwind, sleep or taking a break during a hectic day.
The Samaritans – Always there to listen, always there full stop. Call for free on 116 123 There’s no pressure, just an ear to help you work through what’s going on in your head.
Please look after yourselves and remember that we are all going through this together!
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Written by virtual volunteer Emily Clugston