As we move through the lockdown roadmap, it’s not surprising that many of us feel or have felt a certain amount of stress and even anxiety. This isn’t something we’ve faced before, so it’s completely understandable to feel a number of different emotions. That said, there are lots of things you can do – to look after your mental health and wellbeing during these changeable times:
- Take five and breathe – Practicing deep breathing exercises are proven to help when we’re stressed. You don’t have to be spiritual to try mindfulness and meditation. If you’re new to meditation, there are many great apps out there like Headspace and Calm to get you started.
- Routine – Whether you’re still working for home, or back in your workplace, it’s important to have a routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, getting enough rest, prioritising sleep and doing exercise in line with Government guidelines.
- Keep connected – Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important for our mental wellbeing. Whether you go for a walk, chat over the phone or video call – talking to others can help you develop a balanced view of the situation and make you both feel better.
- Just get the facts – Limit worry, by reducing the time you and your family spend watching or listening to media coverage – as this can feel overwhelming. Try to rely on trusted sources only.
- Tune out – Get lost in something you enjoy – whether that’s watching a series/film, reading a good book, listening to a podcast/music, DIY or learning something new. Tuning into something else gives your mind a chance to rest.
- Do something that makes you sweat – Exercise releases endorphins in your body, giving you a natural high – a brisk walk, running or playing five-a-side with your mates – any exercise will help. There are plenty of ways to get moving and many of them won’t cost you a penny, as many of us have discovered during lockdown! Find more cheap ways to get fit here.
- Focus on the little things – In changeable times it’s important to focus on the little things that make you feel happy. Each day, take time to reflect and pick out the three things you are grateful for that day, this will help you feel in the moment and focus on the positives.
- Be kind to yourself – Life is busy, with many pressures and demands to juggle. Learning, observing and engaging in self-care is a key life skill which helps us stay focused, feel happier and often lends itself to a better work-life balance. Practicing good self-care can also help you be the best version of yourself by looking after your body and mind – find out more.
- Keep your mind active – Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting. You can also learn something new. There are lots of YouTube videos or sites like Udemy where you can learn new skills. Find something that works for you.
- Be aware of your emotions (feelings) – Our thoughts influence our feelings and affect how we behave. It’s good to acknowledge that some things are outside our control right now. Make a list of everything that is worrying you. Review the list – try not to worry about what you can’t change but put your efforts into what you can control or change.
Use our tips to help you and your family to manage stress during this unusual time. If you’re struggling please chat with us online or call our helpline on 08081 311 333.
If you need additional support, you can also access our digital platform, SilverCloud, which helps people better manage their mental health and wellbeing. A number of different programmes are available on the platform, including on topics such as stress, anxiety and depression, as well as supporting issues such as money worries, sleep and resilience. SilverCloud is completely free for anyone who works, or has worked, in the automotive industry. Sign up free and get started today at https://ben.silvercloudhealth.com/signup, using the access code: ben