For many out there who are already struggling with anxiety and depression, the current COVID-19 pandemic can make symptoms even worse.
It should be your number one priority right now that whilst we are all in lockdown we are taking care of our mental health and ourselves. Below are a few tips on how you can find little moments of relief throughout the day.
Embrace your feelings and emotions
Feeling anxious and fearful right now is totally normal and valid. Anxiety can bring on your fight or flight mechanism, especially in current times of uncertainty about your future. This level of stress is signalling to you that something is off, and that you need to adjust. Don’t judge yourself for your current emotions, and instead practice self-compassion. It’s okay to be feeling the way you are feeling right now, you’re not alone in this.
Taking time out for you and your needs is important. This could be in the form of reading, binging on Netflix, practicing yoga via online workouts, or face timing with friends and family over a cup of tea. Do whatever it is you enjoy doing right now, even if you need to come up with new creative methods in order to do it. It’s also a great time to find a new hobby or to learn a new skill.
That pesky voice in our heads can drum up a lot of fear and negativity, let alone the vast amount of information that is currently available via our mobile devices. The best way to stop spiralling into fear and panic is to get back in touch with yourself and to ground your body. This helps to pull your attention back to the present moment and feel more secure.
To ground yourself into the present moment, try this simple exercise:
- Sit comfortably somewhere and take a few deep breaths to relax.
- Look around the room you are in and focus on all the objects you see, including the colours and textures.
This simple technique helps to focus you on your immediate surroundings and bring you back to the present moment.
Exercise is a great stress reliever and can help calm the mind of mental chatter. Try working out at home, learn a new exercise routine using Zoom, or go out for a walk or run. Nothing can help relieve tension from the body more than movement, so get moving!
Focus on the end
With life so up in the air at the moment it can be hard to see the light through the trees, but visualisation can help you refocus. Sit quietly and use your imagination to see yourself three months from now and what you want to be doing. Whether that is back doing the job you love, getting back down to business or just to be able to sit face to face with friends and family. This type of visualisation can help bring some positivity back into your life, knowing that eventually you’ll be back living your best life. You can then return to these positive visualisations anytime a difficult moment arises.
Get in routine
If you are finding yourself at home a lot lately, it can help to have a routine or some goals for the day. Waking up with some form of purpose can be a big help to your mental health and wellbeing. Your routine could include exercise, family time, cleaning, or making a list of big things around the house you want to tackle, such as de-cluttering your wardrobe ready for summer.
Just because you can’t be face to face with everyone you love at the moment doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected. Also, if you are feeling alone and down, make sure you reach out to someone you trust and talk to them on how you are feeling. Don’t hide away completely by yourself! If talking just makes things worse for you, then try some self-care, journaling or meditation instead.
Turn off the media for a while
Having the news on 24/7 is enough to make anyone lose their minds, so try turning off your TV, mobiles and computers for a while and take a break. If you can, get some fresh air and be amongst nature, even if that’s just sitting in your garden or on your balcony. Or you could try baking, reading, writing or taking a hot relaxing bath. Tip: you can learn how to make that delicious looking chocolate orange loaf (as well as many other incredible delights) at www.thebakingexplorer.com