Mental Health and Wellbeing whilst staying at home
Mental wellbeing is something that should be considered as something to invest in, not something that we have to deal with if we are stressed or struggling. It can help you to feel better, sleep well, and generally feel more positive.
It is just as important to look after your mental health and wellbeing when you are spending more time at home or working from home. You might get to a stage where you feel bored, lonely, or frustrated but at this difficult time everyone will be going through similar feelings. It is important to remember that everyone deals with these feelings differently and will react to challenging events in their own way.
There are a few things that you can do to ensure you are keeping on top of your mental wellbeing and help you to cope while you are staying at home.
Plan Practical things
If you need to go out to the shops to collect supplies or medicines, then do so with caution and plan how you can do this.
There are other options that are available such as online food shopping or ordering repeat prescriptions online or over the phone and then having the medication delivered to your home, this will save you from having to worry about going out.
If you are working from home, try sticking to your normal daily routine. Get up and get dressed as usual, set aside yourself a working area and follow the same working hours.
Keep your mind stimulated
By keeping your mind busy and focused on other things you are less likely to worry. Set aside some time in your day to challenge yourself, try a new hobby or activity that you can do from home or even use the internet to research different topics to aid personal development.
Examples of activities could be:
- Read a book
- Listen to a podcast
- Complete online learning courses
- Learn a new language through the use of an app
Connect with other people
Ensure that you maintain some sort of communication with others, this is important for your mental health.
You can phone, video call, message or even email. This will allow for some sort of social interaction still and the opportunity to talk as others that may be feeling the same as you are.
It’s also healthy to talk to these people about your worries, by voicing your concerns others could offer support or even just a sympathetic ear for you to talk to.
If you are worried about feeling lonely some other ideas to help could be:
- Put up pictures of your friends and family
- Listen to the radio, so that you have some background noise
Look after your physical health
Your physical health has a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise inside your home and or ideally outdoors, and try to avoid smoking or drinking too much.
If you are able to go outside, consider walking or gardening (keeping the recommended 2 metres from others as outlined in the social distancing guidance). If you are staying at home, you can find free easy 10 minute work outs from Public Health England or other exercise videos to try at home on the NHS Fitness Studio. Sport England also has good tips for keeping active at home.
Getting a good night’s sleep
Feeling anxious or worried can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically, so it is important to get enough.
Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep good sleep hygiene practices – like avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment. The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
Stay on top of any difficult feelings
Try to focus and plan your day to keep your mind from getting restless or experiencing anxiety. These are some of the feelings that you can be expected during this kind of situation and they are perfectly normal.
Focus on the things that you can control and that you are able to change rather than those that you aren’t and act positively on those. If you are still struggling there are wellbeing audio apps that you can use to help you to relax your mind and manage any anxiety.
Keeping your mind active will also help to forget about worry or stress. Doing activities such as crosswords or jigsaws will keep your mind stay active and away from difficult feelings. The Every Mind Matters page on anxiety and NHS mental wellbeing audio guides provide further information on how to manage anxiety.
Manage your news intake
The social media and News outlets can be misleading and can give a lot of negativity around the situation. It might help to only check the news at set times, turning off your phone or limiting your time looking at screens. When you do feel the need to look at the news only use reliable sources of information such as GOV.UK.
If you would like more tips on mental health relevant to you, you can take the ‘Every mind matters’ NHS mind plan quiz. This quiz asks 5 simple questions based on your mental health and will give tips and hints which are relevant to help you to have good mental wellbeing with the option to email over the plan including links to refer to at later date.