Ok – The art of conventional blog writing dictates that I should begin this piece with an introduction; a brief but informative summary of what Coronavirus is, and what it’s done to us as a society and as individuals. If it’s ok with you, I’m going to skip over this part.
Seriously – what’s the point?
You know just as damned well as I do exactly what COVID-19 is and what it’s done to us.
If you’re self-employed, you may well be without an income and worrying uncontrollably over whether the government is going to have your back.
If you’re a health care provider, you’re getting an income, but the trade off is that you’re on the front line each and every day – fighting the spread of a deadly virus and exposing yourself to it in the process (if you fall into this category, please know that you are amazing and you are appreciated).
If you’re none of the above, you may well be in the same situation as millions of others; stuck, isolated at home with minimal social interaction and no end in sight.
In addition to all of this, the media is relentless; spewing a constant barrage of bad news and negative outlook, which can add to our growing feelings of stress and despair.
Guys – we need to stick together. it’s time to step up and take care of one another, but we can’t help anyone unless we’re also looking after ourselves first.
Below you’ll find a list of the 5 best ways to take care of yourself during the COVID-19 lockdown.
At the time of writing this I am sitting at home in the UK. At this stage of the lock down, the UK government is allowing everyone to leave the house once per day for either essential trips or for one form of exercise a day; this includes running, cycling, or simply going for a walk.
Your physical health and mental health walk hand in hand; you can’t have one without the other.
I don’t care for your current level of fitness – you absolutely MUST use your exercise allowance DAILY! Even if it’s a short, brisk 10-minute power walk after breakfast. I can’t stress enough how vital physical exercise is for your metal health.
If you’re high risk and can’t leave the house, you can search YouTube for a wide range of Yogo routines or home based HIIT workouts.
2. Get Dressed!
If you’re stuck at home, it’s dangerously easy to slip into the habit of sleeping in late, then wallowing all day in your pyjamas and eating utter crap
Just… Don’t. Trust me on this.
Looking after your personal hygiene is essential for your mental health. At a time like this, even simple tasks like washing your hands and face can feel painfully difficult sometimes, but getting it done can make a really, really big difference to the way you feel in your mind.
3. Invest in YOU!
You always need to stay busy!
To you, that may mean going for a daily stroll or learning a new skill. Even though you are physically cut off from the world, there are still literally limitless activities and challenges you can engage with at home.
For example, I myself have downloaded a language learning app and I am working on my Spanish. My wife has been cooking and baking like there is no tomorrow. My best friend baked home made bread for the first time yesterday and told me he can never go back to ‘that horrible crap from the supermarket!’
The point I am making is this; You can turn this awful situation to your advantage. Write that book, learn that new skill, make your garden look awesome!
With a little bit of imagination and self-discipline, you can come out of this a better person.
4. Be Compassionate!
Look – it’s easy for me to sit here and tell you how to live your life and how you should behave during these difficult times. However, it’s also true that I don’t know what you’re going through. You may be really struggling with this, and that’s ok.
If you wake up tomorrow and find that you really don’t feel up to doing anything at all, that’s fine too. It’s never been more important to be kind and compassionate to yourself and recognize when you need to take a break.
5. Get Help!
If you’re in the UK, the mental health charity Mind has some very useful information maintaining mental health during self-isolating on their website.
For support with grief, depression, anxiety, or any kind of mental health crisis, you can call or text an organisation like the Samaritans.
If things reach breaking point, DO NOT hesitate to call NHS 111 or even 999 if you feel that your life is at immediate risk.
Did we miss anything out?
How are YOU taking care of your mental health during the Pandemic?
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