The world is currently under a lot of stress as the Covid19 pandemic continues to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
We all have our part to play in preventing and delaying the transmission of the virus by doing things such as washing our hands, limiting social contact and isolating ourselves completely if we show any signs of infection. While the emphasis is on our physical health, we also need to make sure that during this time, we take what steps we can to stay mentally healthy too….
People respond to stressful situations in different ways:
- Depression and anxiety
- Lethargy and lack of interest in hobbies or activities
- Ill health
- Difficulty sleeping
- Reliance on alcohol, drugs and tobacco
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
The link between your physical and mental health has been clearly established. If you aren’t exercising, eating or sleeping well, then your mental health is going to start to suffer pretty quickly.
Diet – eat a balanced diet, it’s not necessary to exclude treats altogether, just make sure that you aren’t reaching for them all the time.
Exercise – if you’re limiting social contact or self-isolating, it can be difficult to keep up any level of activity. Try and keep moving throughout the day, or look to do some online exercise videos.
Sleep – though this is a very worrying time, try to get a good nights sleep. Some people swear by supplements such as B12, melatonin or CBD oil to help them get a good nights sleep. These are available to buy CBD oil UK or you can purchase vitamin B12 and melatonin from most supplement suppliers.
Stay Away From Triggers
Keeping up to date with what’s going on is really important, but can also worsen anxiety. Don’t subject yourself to 24-hour news or endlessly scrolling through social media if this triggers you. Try to stay calm. Instead, set aside a particular time each day to switch on the news, or check your news app to see what’s going on. At other times, put it out of your mind as much as possible.
Also, get your updates from reliable news sources.
If you are struggling with your anxiety, there are a number of resources you can access including the Anxiety UK helpline.
Stay Connected To Friends & Family
Isolating ourselves physically doesn’t mean we have to cut contact completely. Luckily, the technology that’s available today can make staying in touch a lot easier.
Call, text, and video chat with friends and family regularly. Don’t withdraw and bottle up all of your anxiety and worries.
If you don’t have a support network that you can contact, there are a number of helplines set up that you can reach out to.
Set A Routine
Spending all of your time aimlessly about the house, worrying can cause more stress. Instead, try to create a routine for yourself so that you are filling your time up. You might even want to try a new hobby or read all of those books you’ve been meaning to for all those years.
How To Monitor Your Children’s Mental Health
Even if they don’t fully grasp what’s going on, they will react to the behaviour of the adults around them. They may not know why they aren’t allowed to go out to parties or other social events and start showing signs of anxiety and stress. Parents need to be vigilant.
Commons signs of stress in children include:
- Regression in certain behaviours including speech, toilet training or eating
- Seeming ‘down’ or sad
- Poor interaction with friends and classmates
- Unwillingness to participate in activities they have previously enjoyed
- Acting out, anger or misbehaving
In order to support your child, you will need to talk to them about what is going on in a way that they can understand.
Reassure them that its ok to feel anxious or upset but that they are safe.
Limit their exposure to the news and social media so that you can control what information they are getting and how it is explained to them.
Even though you’re going to be stuck indoors, try and keep a routine and do things that you will all enjoy.
The current situation can cause worry, anxiety, and depression even in those without any pre-existing issues around their mental health. It’s important that we do everything we can to keep ourselves mentally and physically robust and if we do start to experience any issues, then we get guidance and help at the earliest opportunity.
How are you protecting your mental health during these stressful times?