COVID-19: LOOKING AFTER OUR MENTAL HEALTH

Hey there, how are you doing and how are you feeling? As I write this, we are currently in week 3 of lock-down amidst the nightmare that is the Coronavirus Pandemic, I hope you are all keeping safe and well?

What is your current situation? I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home as is the Mister so I am truly grateful for that. In contrast, one of my closest friends, a nurse will be deploying to a new place of work, fortunately not on the front line but to a GP’s surgery, however this could change at anytime. I am praying for her, along with all NHS and key workers and also my dad and other vulnerable people.

For once in my life, I do feel a little bit ineffective, should I volunteer to do more? (having served in the military previously, we were the ones called upon). However, I do have a medical condition so should I place myself into a vulnerable position unnecessarily? There is no right or wrong way of dealing with all of this, other than to adhere to the UK government guidelines, stay at home and to get through this as best as we can. I find that I am going through stages of feeling very calm to thoughts of absolute terror and panic (within seconds), however the following is helping me a little, so I thought I’d share with you guys:

GET SHOWERED AND DRESSED EVERY MORNING

It does seem very trivial, but having a shower and dressing does bring a sense of purpose and order to the day. Okay so we may be living in lounge-suits at the moment, but it’s taking the time out to look after our personal hygiene and dress that counts.

VIRTUAL EXERCISE CLASSES – JOIN A GYM

I joined a gym in the new year and fortunately they have set up virtual Isolation classes via Zoom, these have been a game changer, as not only does it help to maintain the weight (lets face it, who isn’t getting a tan off the fridge light ATM?), but exercising is known to release endorphins which benefit our mental health. Try and find something in your local area, the support you receive from a group like this is amazing too.

ONLY WATCH THE NEWS ONCE A DAY

If you are a born worrier like me, then do not watch the news every minute of the day. It is good to keep abreast of the latest developments so tune in once a day, preferably not just before bedtime – you will not sleep!

PLAN YOUR EVENING

We are now into a routine everyday, we generally prepare dinner then take our dog walking allowance together, sit down to eat and chatter then watch something on Netflix. This has been one positive aspect for us during Covid-19 as we are all so busy normally, that we rarely eat at the same time and I am sure this is the same for others. Also, plan virtual parties, there’s so many apps out there. We had a family gathering on Zoom last Saturday, it was great to look forward to especially as we’d all prepared buffets and dressed up!

SPEAK TO LOVED ONES

Remember to give people a call, especially those that are on their own and I don’t just mean a text, pick up that phone and speak to people! If you can do anything, then do this! We are currently ringing my dad (who lives over 400 miles away) every other day, we may not have anything new to tell him (who has?) but he appreciates hearing our voices. Also have you an elderly neighbour in the same position? Why not pop a note with your telephone number on through their letterbox, they may just want a little bit of shopping or just a friendly bit of re-assurance. I speak to my neighbour regularly now, and it does make me feel a little better knowing I may be able to help someone, even in a small way.

EAT A HEALTHY DIET

Yup, tricky one this. Boredom can lead to snacking and with easy access to the fridge on a daily basis it is all too tempting isn’t it? I try and plan our meals, stick to them and drink plenty of water. You feel even more lethargic if you’ve spent the day snacking on sugary treats and it is vitally important right now to try and maintain a good immune system. I’ve also ordered vitamins online, especially vitamin D and B12 (good for the hormones ladies), particularly in these fraught times, especially spending every minute of the waking day with the Mister too!

WATCH THE ALCOHOL INTAKE

Hopefully, the whole nation doesn’t emerge from this with a drinking problem … seriously, it’s easy to grab a glass of wine (or two) every evening but think of the calories if nothing else? Try to regulate the drinking to one or two glasses during the weekend only, drinking is a depressant and it doesn’t do anything for the mental health and can heighten anxiety levels.

MAINTAIN A SENSE OF HUMOUR

Finally, I am getting through this with my sense of humour. Yes, it is a very serious and distressing time of our lives however I am enjoying sharing the witticisms that are flying around on social media. Try to concentrate on the positives and as a nation we will get through this, and I am sure as we emerge from this testing time we will all be much stronger and better people all round.

Stay home and stay safe huns and as ever, thank you for stopping by.

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12 Comments

  1. 8 April 2020 / 12:42 pm

    I like all these tips. Thank you for sharing. You stay safe and healthy too ok.

    • Leigh
      Author
      9 April 2020 / 8:57 am

      Hey Fadima!

      Thank you for reading, you stay safe and well too.

      Leigh x

  2. 8 April 2020 / 1:09 pm

    Beautiful pictures. I am definitely having troubles with the eating healthy part, as well as getting dressed in the morning. But i will try to be more motivated and see if it helps. Thank you for the tips.

    • Leigh
      Author
      9 April 2020 / 8:59 am

      Hey Dawn!

      Thank you for reading, definitely missing the beach! Oh the healthy eating is a struggle isn’t it, but it helps. Stay safe and well.

      Leigh x

  3. 10 April 2020 / 10:50 am

    Yes to all these tips. We have to make sure to stay connected and check up on our friends. I have personally been trying to eat healthier but with Easter creeping in I won’t be able to say no to chocolate eggs!

    ps. I love your coat – it is so nice and stylish!!

    • Leigh
      Author
      11 April 2020 / 11:36 am

      Hey Paulina

      Thank you for reading & hope these are useful tips! Oh enjoy the Easter eggs …. I will do!

      Leigh x

  4. 14 April 2020 / 10:53 am

    These are brilliant ways to look after your mental health during this time. Limiting your news is SO important!

    • Leigh
      Author
      16 April 2020 / 4:48 pm

      Hi Jenny

      Thank you for reading, definitely limiting the news & watching rubbish TV for a little escapism – works for me!

      Stay safe.

      Leigh x

    • 23 April 2020 / 11:48 am

      These are some great tips. I have bee trying to take care of myself more and love that now I have more time. I love the “maintain a sense of humor” tip. Tha is for sharing. Stay safe and we will get through this together.

      • Leigh
        Author
        23 April 2020 / 8:13 pm

        Hey Darina!

        Thank you for reading, yes I know we are living in terrible times but it is good for the soul if we can still have a bit of a giggle every now and then.

        Stay safe and well too.

        Leigh x

  5. 16 April 2020 / 8:42 am

    I’ve barely watched the news this whole time, only keeping up to date with the lockdown updates as it’ll only make me anxious! Loved this post, such pretty pictures too!

    • Leigh
      Author
      16 April 2020 / 4:50 pm

      Hey Jasmine

      Thank you! Hopefully some of this helped & you are feeling less anxious.

      Stay safe.

      Leigh x

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