Caring for yourself through the pandemic
Exercise at home.
It’s a difficult and worrying time for all of us at the moment. As many of the social distancing restrictions continue, some of us are starting to feel the strain. Not being able to spend time quality time with our loved ones, juggling home schooling with work or having to shield completely due to health reasons are all challenges that can affect our mental health.
Now more than ever, you might want to invest in your physical and mental wellbeing, and there are a number of ways you can do this.
As humans we are innately social and being with people releases dopamine, the feel-good hormone. To reduce feelings of isolation, set up regular phone or video contact with friends and family. Be the first to suggest a daily or weekly catch up, organise an online quiz, or arrange a regular chat over the garden fence.
If you’re able to exercise outside, set time aside each day for a walk, run or bike ride. If you’re isolating or shielding, do some gentle exercises at home (check out YouTube for an exercise routine to suit you) or put on some music to dance to.
Meditation can help to reduce your anxiety levels. Research classes online or buy a book to help get you started.
Go for a run. A perfect start to the day or a destresser at the end of the day.
If you’re not working or you have more time on your hands, why not think about doing some volunteering to support vulnerable people in your community? Helping others gives us a sense of purpose and can be a boost to our self esteem.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Local helplines and charities are still there to give you advice and signpost you to specialist services in your area that can help. They include MIND (0300 123 3393 or www.mind.org.uk), Anxiety UK (03444 775 774 or www.anxietyuk.org.uk) and Rethink Mental Illness (www.rethink.org).
- Croydon mental health services: https://www.croydonccg.nhs.uk/your-health/mental-health/Pages/Living-with-a-mental-health-condition.aspx
- Bromley mental health services: http://oxleas.nhs.uk/advice-and-guidance/how-to-get-help/bromley/
- Sutton: mental health services: https://www.sutton.gov.uk/info/200333/adult_social_care/1639/mental_health-_support_for_adults
In times like this, it’s important that we’re kind to others – do what you can to help family and friends, but also be kind to yourself.