There’s an acute level of uncertainty for all of us at the moment and it’s led to a big increase in the numbers of people feeling anxiety or depression according to researchers at the universities of Sheffield and Ulster.
Some have been dealt with unimaginable life changes by the coronavirus outbreak, and reality has changed for everyone in the UK.
To help cope with these challenging times, here are five strategies to help manage mental health.
Build A Routine
Work has slowed down or stopped completely for many of us.
Maintaining a sense of purpose in your day-to-day life has long been linked with good mental health, so it is important to establish a routine in these unusual times.
If you feel stuck with nothing to do, you could base your day around exercise. Establishing a discipline of getting a workout done at a set time in the morning will force you out of bed and start your day off on the right foot.
Pick Up The Phone
The fact that we can’t physically see our friends and family gives an excuse to contact them by other means.
Staying connected has been shown to positively influence mental health, and it’s particularly important for those who are being hit hardest by social distancing - people who live alone.
Choose To Ignore The News
Obsessing or spending copious amounts of time looking at things you can’t control can certainly exacerbate feelings of anxiety.
A way to control this is by limiting the time you spend reading, listening to or watching the news. In a recent interview with the BBC, Stephen Fry advised turning off your phone or setting a time in the day when you allow yourself to check what’s happening in the news.
Try New Hobbies As A Distraction
Keeping the brain occupied is important and one way to distract yourself from the uncertainty of life in lockdown is to take up a new hobby.
You could combine this with your athletic pursuits. For example, do some research on sports physiology and put together a plan of how to take your fitness to the next level.
With more time on our hands, this is a great opportunity to look inwards and take some time to reflect in order to become more present in your life.
You could try writing down some thoughts or feelings, or just set a time slot each day to go for a walk alone, leaving your smartphone at home.