As we celebrate World Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, we are struck with how different this may have been if coronavirus had not affected the world. The last couple of months have been difficult for many people as we adapt to changes in our working patterns, social life and the impact of ‘lockdown’.
Whether you are working from home, in public as a key worker or find yourself not working you will have adapted to new processes and a ‘new normal’. On good days, we draw out certain positives from the change in our global habits, including a more optimistic approach to flexible working and an ease on environmental outputs, but the day-to-day strain of this global change can be difficult.
With the majority of the Challenger team working remotely during this time, we wanted to put together 5 top tips for looking after your mental health during lockdown:
1 – Routine
If you are still working full-time this will be an easier one to achieve! Get up, showered and dressed ready to start your day and have regular check-ins with your team to keep you motivated whilst working from home. Remembering to switch off at the end of the day is important, so make time in the evening to go outside for a walk or run, and go to bed at a normal time.
If you are furloughed, or find yourself not working during this time, this one can be a little more difficult. It is very easy to become nocturnal if you have no daily routine. Start by getting up and ready as you normally would, then try and set out a few things you want to achieve that day. These can be anything from organising your kitchen to simply reading another chapter of your book.
Remember that not every day needs to be super productive but, by achieving small things throughout the week, you are more likely to look positively on the situation.
2 – Restrict when you view your News Feed
Refreshing your news page every 5 minutes won’t make anyone feel any better!
Yes, it is important to stay on top of the news and government updates, but try and restrict how many times you view this to once or twice a day. With lots of conflicting reports out there, it is easy to be swept into negative conversations. Try and pick a news source that you feel is informative to you.
3 – Self-care
Social media may make you think this means having to run 10k three times a week, but actually this means listening to your mind and body to identify what will make you feel good at the end of the day.
This could be sitting in the sun, stepping away from your laptop for a lunch break, or even finding a new skincare routine. We are lucky that we have been experiencing some fantastic weather nationwide, and getting a daily dose of vitamin D is a great way to feel positive.
4 – Socialise… virtually or from a distance!
As a communications provider, we understand how important it is to… communicate!!
The start of ‘lockdown’ saw a rise in ‘virtual get-togethers’ and we all brushed up on our general knowledge for what felt like weekly quizzes. Using platforms like TEAMS or Facetime mean you can video chat with your friends and family to stay connected.
Plus, the latest government update has opened the possibility of meeting friends or family whilst out on a walk. As long as you adhere to social distancing rules, this could be a nice way for you to step away from the screen.
5 – Speak to someone
If you are really struggling with your mental health, don’t suffer in silence! Try and speak to a friend or family member about how you are feeling and you may be surprised that they too are worrying about similar things.
If you don’t have anyone you can talk to, mental health charity MIND have set up an information hub with lots of resources and even a support helpline – https://www.mind.org.uk/coronavirus-we-are-here-for-you/