Looking After Your Mental Health During Lockdown

Most of us know what to do to keep our bodies healthy; dutifully munching on our fruits & veggies, drinking our 8l of h20 and getting to our favourite fitness classes on the reg. But are we all as clued up when it comes to looking after our minds? Our mental wellbeing often falls to the bottom of the pile, as we opt to squeeze in extra work or workouts over getting a good night’s sleep or taking some time out. But at times of heightened stress – like in the midst of a global pandemic - it’s more important than ever to prioritise your mental health!

So, if you’re missing your best gal pals or are feeling agitated and overwhelmed from trying to do the simplest task (hello 4-hour queue to get a grocery home delivery slot!), it’s time to put in place some simple habits that will help to boost your mood. Here’s some of our top tips:

Form New Routines

Most humans crave regular routines, so try to implement some structure into your day even if you’re furloughed and don’t have a working day to get through. Get up before 9am, get dressed, make your usual morning coffee or herbal tea and go for your daily walk or run for some fresh air. Start some new rituals and create new to-do lists full of things that make you feel good. It’s satisfying to tick something off, even if it’s making the bed and getting in the shower!

Connect with Others

Just because your distancing, doesn’t mean you have to be distant from everyone you love! Fill your diary with your usual social plans, just make them all virtual. Face-time friends instead of your usual coffee catch ups, keep that weekly date for a wine with your favourite girlfriends and turn work meetings into Zoom calls. Talking helps, so if you’re feeling particularly low, don’t hesitate to reach out to a friend, family member or even a professional. Remember, we’re all in this together!

Switch Off Your Brain

Finding a way to give your restless mind a break is key for maintaining your mental health, especially at this time. If you struggle to quieten your thoughts, try something active, like drawing or getting lost in a good book. If you’re feeling totally overwhelmed, we find journaling can be a helpful tool for getting all your feelings out on paper. It can help make sense of the situation and will feel like a weight off your shoulders!

Do Something for Someone Else

If you’re struggling to feel productive or useful, volunteer your services whilst you’re feeling healthy and fit enough to do so. Offer to pick up groceries for older, vulnerable neighbours or volunteer locally where it’s safe to do so. Even just calling an older relative will brighten their day and will make you feel like you’ve done something positive with your time!

Get Some Fresh Air

Feeling that cabin fever? Being cooped up at home can leave us agitated, anxious and grumpy. So, get outside as much as you can. If you’ve already used up your daily walk quota and don’t have access to a garden, crack open a window instead. It might seem stupidly simple, but the fresh air and sunshine streaming in the window is a total mood booster!

Limit Your News Consumption

The doom and gloom of the news is likely not doing your anxiety levels any favours. Whilst it’s important to stay informed, it’s also okay to disconnect every now and again. If you feel that the news is affecting your headspace, try to limit your consumption by only checking it once or twice a day. Make sure to get this from a reliable source, such as tuning into the nightly BBC updates... which means swerving the outrageous opinions and drama of your Twitter feed too!

Make Yourself Laugh

There’s nothing better for your mental health than a good old belly laugh; it’s serious soul food! Swap your usual Netflix thriller binge for your favourite comedy show or get all your friends together on a themed zoom quiz to give each other a good giggle - a little escapism is no bad thing!

Look After Your Body

We might be focusing on your mental health here, but that doesn’t mean your body’s health isn’t important too! There’s a huge connection between mind and body, so it’s still important to move regularly and eat a balanced diet that makes YOU feel good (rather than what someone on Instagram has told you to eat!). Our favourite way to set our minds up for a positive day? Whipping up a nutrient dense breakfast made with Free Soul’s whey or vegan nutrition blend to devour with your morning coffee!

Remove the Pressure

Despite popular opinion, you don’t have to be productive at every second of every day during lockdown. Whilst it’s great to keep yourself busy, it’s also okay to take a break – we are in the midst of a pandemic after all! If you need a day to get under a blanket and watch a feel-good movie or two, that’s okay. You don’t need to be learn a new language, bake a fresh loaf of sourdough and bust out 3 home workouts all before 9am!