TIPS TO ENCOURAGE A HEALTHY MINDSET
During this difficult time its normal to feel isolated, moody and generally down in the dumps. Humans are not anti-social creatures, with some more social interactions with others to feel energized and happy. It’s extremely important to look out for warning signs relating to deteriorating mental health and put strategies in place to stop them from impacting your daily life.
Here are some of our top tips for having a healthy mindset:
- Practice Self Care
Its very easy to develop and get stuck in a rut of bad habits when you aren’t required to get out of bed to attend work or other commitments. This can result in later sleeping times, falling asleep later, increased cravings for junk food or sugar and increased procrastination. Days like this every now and again can help us to reset after a busy period but too much of this can leave us feeling worse. Set your alarm for a decent time, have a shower and get changed into casual clothes. Have a healthy breakfast and take your vitamins if needed. Remember, vitamins are called supplements for a reason, they’re supposed to supplement a healthy diet, not replace one. Sometimes self-care can be switching your phone off at a certain time or avoiding an over exposure to social media, the news or anything that increases your anxiety. If you can spend 10 to 15 minutes outside getting some sun or fresh air to avoid developing cabin fever from being inside for long periods of time.
- Exercise If You Can
Spending a few minutes each day being active and getting your blood helping can help you feel more productive, in control and can improve endorphins. You don’t need fancy equipment or even a full hour, research has shown that just 10 to 15 minutes of exercise per day is enough to boost attention and endorphin levels. Exercise can also come in the form of cleaning the house or working in the garden getting some sunshine, which can help promote Vitamin D levels. If you are injured make use of our online services with one of biokineticists to train safely.
- Reach Out to Family and Friends
Set some time aside each day to phone or video chat with a friend or family member to catch up with them. Daily conversations can help bridge the gap in socializing we’re missing during isolation and lockdown. Plan an activity for you family to do together, its amazing how some unplugged time with special people can reset your mind and leave you in a better mindset. Avoid isolating yourself even more then what is needed during lockdown.
- Plan Your Week
Sitting down and planning the week ahead and help avoid unnecessary anxiety and procrastination. Write when you will work, take a break and estimate your meal times. This can help you to have a feeling of control in a time where we feel as though we cant control anything happening outside our front door. This can also help to set boundaries for yourself and your work place, especially if you are working full time from home. Create a space that is your dedicated work area and plan to relax in another area in your home. This can help to separate the two despite happening in close proximity. Writing down your feelings and thoughts with journaling can help to alleviate the mental burden isolation can have on us. Try your best to plan but not project into the future as this can worsen anxiety, as we don’t know what to expect. Focus on controlling what you can when you can and this will help to ground you.
5) Give Yourself A Break
This may seem like a counter productive suggestion, but this time is stressful enough as it is. Avoid setting unattainable or unreachable goals, sometimes just making sure to get 8 hours of sleep or spend some time meditating instead of being on social media is enough to keep you feeling positive. For now the most important thing is prioritizing actions that make you a healthy person, which includes physical, mental and spiritual focus.
As adapted from: Smith L. (2020). COVID-19: How to Look After Your Mental Health During Corona Virus Lockdown. Available: https://patient.info/news-and-features/covid-19-how-to-look-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-lockdown. Last accessed 10th April 2020.