We are now in week eight of lockdown, which also happens to be Mental Health Awareness Week. Looking after your mental health has always been essential, but this has become much more prevalent in the current circumstances, which has seen a huge rise in loneliness. It is therefore vital that we are doing all we can to support one another while looking after our own mental health.
We have put together five ways to look after your mental health during lockdown which you can also use to help a loved one.
Stay in touch with friends and family
Whether you are on your own during lockdown or just missing your loved ones, staying in contact with one another is hugely important for your mental wellbeing. Your friends most likely feel the same as you – so it can benefit both parties.
If they are local, why not send them a meal and share it over a Zoom or Skype call? You could arrange a delivery of a three-course meal for two from the Galley Restaurant or afternoon tea from Susi’s Kitchen. If your friends and family are further afield, take them on a walk around a Woodbridge park on FaceTime so you can enjoy some sunshine and fresh air while chatting to them.
This pandemic is a scary time; it is perfectly normal to feel worried or anxious about the situation. If you find yourself feeling this way, you should share your worries with someone you trust. It might be that they feel worried as well, meaning you can help each other.
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to someone you know, the Natural Health Centre is currently available via phone if you need to speak with someone and the Disability Advice Service is also running a telephone advice service.
Do activities that make you happy
Make a list of activities that make you happy, or new hobbies you can try during lockdown. You could buy some flour from the Cake Shop Bakery and try your hand at making sour dough or get a delivery of a good book from the Woodbridge Emporium. Staying busy will keep your mind active and will in turn improve your mood, making you feel accomplished.
The worst thing you can do during this lockdown is bottle up any bad feelings or anxiety and forget about them. By taking five minutes to be still and relax, you can overcome difficult emotions and improve your wellbeing.
There are plenty of spaces in and around Woodbridge such as Elmhurst Park and Fen Meadow where you can take some time to yourself while social distancing. We are incredibly lucky to have so many beautiful open spaces for you to just enjoy a quiet moment away from the home.
If you’re working from home, create a dedicated workspace
Living and working in the same place can wreak havoc on your anxieties because it may feel as though you can never ‘turn off’ from your job. By creating a dedicated workspace which you’re only in during work hours, you’re making that separation between work life and home life, meaning that once you ‘leave’ work your home will still feel like your safe space.
Wotsits and the Woodbridge Kitchen Company have plenty of home-enhancing gadgets for sale which would make this much easier. Both are now open to the public – albeit with social distancing measures in place to protect shoppers.
Remember, everyone is in the same boat in this pandemic. The best thing we can all do is to support each other as a community and look after our mental health during this time.