As we settle into a third lockdown, it is more important than ever to look after your mental health. These times are tricky and testing for everyone, with the dark cold weather and lack of social contact taking it's toll, so we wanted to share with you our top tips on maintaining or even improving your mental wellness.
Ensure you are getting enough sleep
Sleep has a restorative function which is essential for our physical health and our mental health. Whilst you are asleep your body heals and repairs itself, helping you to recover from the physical and mental tests of the day. During this time the brain also sorts and processes all the days information. Think of yourself as a phone battery. Phone batteries need charging, they cannot maintain the phones functions indefinitely. Moreover, as the phones battery gets lower and lower, battery savings are put into place, limiting the function of the phone. Just like a phone, you need to recharge in order to be as productive and energised as possible throughout the day.
Ensure you are eating the right foods
Eating the right foods does not mean going on some crazy fad diet because 9 times out of 10 this will just result in you having no energy. This is about eating things in moderation, less looking at calories and more looking at what nutrients the foods you are putting in your body are giving you. Having a healthy balanced diet is also linked to getting the right sleep, if you eat well you will be more likely sleep well.
Ensure you are getting some activity into your day
Take advantage of that 1-hour daily exercise allowance. Yes, the weather may be naff and its cold but exercise is an essential part to having good physical and mental health. Find an activity that you enjoy, that way it will be much easier to motivate yourself to do it. Exercise reliefs tension and stress, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins and boosts energy! What's not to love?!
Keep in touch, communicate and ask for help
Sometimes it is hard to reach out to the people around you, but you need to remember that people care and will be ready and willing to help. Whether you need to have an in-depth chat with someone about how your feeling low or are just wanting a gossip with friends to make things seem a bit more normal. Communicating with your loved ones can be an escape and a distraction from the stresses of everyday life. It also benefits those around you, as they too might be feeling alone.
Find a way to control your stress
This is something easier said than done, but if you focus and find something you find relaxing, you will be able to calm yourself down. Some ideas would be making yourself a cup of tea, reading a good book, lighting a scented candle, going outside to get some air or putting on your favourite TV show. Whatever it is, it is important to sometimes step away from things that are stressing you and come back to them when you have a clearer head.
Do something for you
Stop worrying about everyone around you and do something for you. Got a book you've been wanting to read? Do it. Wanting to learn some new sewing tricks? Do it. Anything you can that will benefit you, you should do. It will help you zone out from everyday life and doing something you enjoy will make you genuinely happy.
Take some time to breathe
Some of you may think mindfulness is rubbish but it has proven results. It can help you control your thoughts and feelings by being in the present, rather than being overwhelmed or overly reactive to the things happening around you. To put it in the simplest way possible you should take five minutes each day to sit, try and clear your mind and just breathe.
There you have it, our top tips on looking after your mental health in lockdown three. It is a hard time and these steps will by no means work for everyone but they can certainly help. Why not make a daily routine which includes all or some of the things from this list, this way you can make each day as productive as possible during a time you are unable to work.
Look out for our next blog in our mental wellness series, which is all about mindfulness.
Written by Becky Jackson, Marketing Intern