Looking after your mental health in the midst of COVID-19

Mental health and COVID-19

The past few weeks have been challenging for us all. Many have made significant lifestyle changes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and this is set to continue until new government recommendations are announced. The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in many different emotional responses across the country – sadness, frustration and anger (just to name a few). For some, this new way of living has had some positive effects – people going out of their way to help others, feeling appreciative to have their health, enjoying the small things in life (a cup of tea in the garden on a sunny afternoon).

If you’re having one of those less-than-positive days, read on for some useful tips and ways you can modify your behaviour to help increase positivity levels.

Man sat at desk in front of laptop checking mobile phone

Are you checking the news repeatedly for COVID-19 updates?

It’s so tempting, isn’t it? So many of us have smartphones these days and they’re both a blessing and a curse. There’s an ever-present temptation to check for news updates. And you can’t necessarily visit social media for some respite either – it’s all over there, too!

 

 

 

Why not try the following:

– Try not to check your phone when you wake up. This can get your day off to the wrong start, particularly if you start reading negative news.

– Worried you may be spending too much time on your devices? There are various free apps available, such as YourHour, where you can set limits for the amount of time you spend on your mobile.

– Do you check news and social media using apps instead of your browser? If so, perhaps try deleting these apps so you need to log in through your browser to check for updates. By making the process of checking that little bit more time consuming, you may find this reduces the temptation to check as regularly.

Fluctuations in mood

Experiencing good days and not-so-good days at the moment is normal. However, if you’re experiencing more severe fluctuations in your mood and/or are feeling unusually low, you can always speak to a caring person at Samaritans by dialling 116 123.

For anyone experiencing less severe symptoms, here are some tips which may help:

Woman in wheelchair smiling and waving at laptopKeep in touch with friends and family. If you have access to a mobile phone or laptop, why not Facetime your loved ones? Sometimes, going for a stroll outside and saying hello (at a distance) to passers by can help to give you a little lift.

– Try to stick to a good routine. This includes eating well and at normal times, maintaining a consistent routine of waking and going to sleep, and maintaining personal care such as getting up, washed and dressed each day.

– Set achievable goals for things you’d like to achieve during the day or week. Perhaps create a ‘to do’ list and enjoy the satisfaction of ticking things off one by one.

– Struggling to sleep at night? A bath before bedtime can work wonders. Why not treat yourself to some relaxing products to use in the bath? Anything scented with lavender will help to soothe your senses and get you ready for sleep.

– Spend some quality time with your pet. Science has repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of pet ownership on our mental health. Take Woman asleep in bed with small dogyour dog for an evening stroll when it’s quiet outside, or encourage your cat to hop onto your lap and enjoy the sound of their purrs as you stroke them. Even if you don’t have a pet of your own, there are many funny animal videos on YouTube and these can definitely lighten the mood on a darker day!

We hope you’ve found this advice useful! All of the team at Optimum Medical want to do whatever we can to support you. If there’s anything we can do to help, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0113 263 3849 or email enquiries@optimummedical.co.uk.

Stay safe and well!