Firstly, I just want to say I hope you and you loved ones are well at this difficult time. Over the last week, I’ve been trying to think of things I can post on this site that I hope will help others manage this tricky time.
Speaking to clients and colleagues there seems to be some common questions that people have, and I’ll try to cover the main questions in individual blog posts. The first blog (below) will focus on ways to maintain our wellbeing. Over the next few days though, I’ll write further posts on ways of coping with difficult thoughts and feelings that may naturally come up at this time, and I’ll also do a special section on managing loneliness.
As always please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.
Tips to Maintain Your Wellbeing
I don’t think anything I put in this initial blog post will be rocket science – but, I hope, because of that, the ideas may be easier to implement! These ideas are not going to stop the threat of the Coronavirus, but I hope they help you manage your wellbeing during this tricky period. However, these are just some ideas….do feel free to email me if you have any more and I’ll add them.
Tip 1: Try to ensure you get enough sleep
When the brain has a lot of uncertainty fizzing about, it may be that you find it difficult to sleep. On a previous blog (https://www.drbenjmead.co.uk/2015/08/) I wrote some tips that I hope will help.
Tip 2: Try to eat healthily
Getting the right nutrients inside us can be really good for our mental health – it gives the brain energy and helps us think more clearly. For information on what is a good balanced diet, the NHS has a really helpful page: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/
Tip 3: Try to get enough exercise
Try to move your body each day, even if you have to stay indoors, as exercise is good for mood and stress levels. If you have a garden, use it! Hopefully it’ll warm up in the coming weeks making the garden a lovely place to be and get exercise. If you don’t have a garden, exercising indoors can be a good way to get fit. Perhaps try some of the Yoga videos on youtube. For the kids, Joe Wicks is going to be doing live PE sessions every Monday to Friday on his youtube channel at 9am – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ (he also has some great exercises for adults too….)
Tip 4: Practise Mindfulness…
Some of you may have heard of ‘Mindfulness’. Some of you may even have heard of Headspace, which is a great app to help practise mindfulness. Generously, the people at Headspace have kindly chosen to give additional free access to some of their mindfulness tracks: https://www.headspace.com/covid-19. Mindfulness can be a great way to help us observe ourselves and not get caught up into thought processes about things we have little control over (more on this on a future blog!), so if you’ve some free time now, this could be a great time to learn to help the present you, and your future you.
Tip 5: Connect with others
Whilst we may not be able to meet up so easily, in today’s world we have so much technology at our disposal. Facetime, WhatsApp video, Zoom – all great ways to chat to friends and family online! I love Zoom – mainly because it has a cool little Whiteboard function that lets you draw things to each other (game of noughts and crosses?). There’s also online gaming with friends. Or just the good old fashioned telephone, or chats over the garden fence…..
Tip 6: Go outside for a walk
Getting in your car and choosing a non crowded area to walk when you know there are few people around can be brilliant for one’s mental health. The fresh air and noticing the wildlife around can also help us be more mindful.
Tip 7: Take some time away from the news and social media
Keeping up to date with current is, of course, important. But, how helpful is it for that BBC live feed to be on in the background all the time? Having time away from the topic of Coronavirus will give our head some space to think of other things and recognise that life is greater than Coronavirus. Turn off those notifications for a few hours, turn off that Live News feed, and recognise the other things that are currently important to you.