Looking After Yourself
With Coronavirus headlines covering every news channel and media outlet, it's impossible to ignore economic uncertainty. This is causing panic, distress and taking a toll on mental and physical health. Here, we present effective methods of managing wellbeing in unprecedented times.
Avoid misleading information
In the digital age, it's easier than ever for false information to circulate online. Misleading health advice, rumours and speculation not only run the risk of causing harm by spreading dangerous misinformation, they also feed fear and fuel anxiety. Reputable sources such as HM Government and NHS provide reliable up-to-date knowledge, guidance and health information.
Use your support network
During stressful periods it’s important to maintain human interaction to decrease anxiety levels. Talking to friends and family will help you feel more supported and surrounded by positivity. Schedule a coffee catchup with a friend over FaceTime or organise a family lunch through Skype to stay virtually connected.
Limit social media exposure
Using less social media in times of stress can benefit your mental health significantly, but it's hard to avoid social media in a digitally connected world. Determine specific points of the day to obtain updates and follow trustworthy sources to reduce misinformation. It is also sensible to restrict phone use close to bedtime as this can engage your brain and prolong sleep.
Get adequate sleep
Scrimping on sleep during a global pandemic isn’t healthy for the mind. Getting sufficient sleep will help strengthen the body’s natural defences against illness as well as replenishing vital energy stores which are critical for regulating mood, reducing stress and energising the body and mind. The NHS website provides several tools to help calm the mind and improve sleep.
Eat a balanced diet
When you’re feeling dispirited, indulging in sugary snacks can temporarily lift spirits. However, eating a well-balanced diet is the most efficient way to fulfil the body's nutritional needs, reduce the risk of disease and improve brain activity in areas associated with mood. For recipe ideas and advice on cooking, consult the NHS eat well portal.
Keep your mind healthy
It’s easy for the mind to get carried away and play out the unknown as the worst-case scenario. By bringing awareness to our thoughts and emotions we can recenter and settle a busy mind and relax the body. Apps like Calm and Headspace provide hand-picked practices to support mental and emotional wellness.
Keep your body strong
We all know exercise is good for the body, but we often overlook the fact exercise is also good for the brain. By pumping more oxygen to the brain it aids the release of hormones, providing natural mood-boosters. Nike Training Club and Les Mills both provide free on-demand workouts to keep active and engaged in the comfort of your living room.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed at times of uncertainty but it is important that we all look out for each other. Stay in touch with family, friends and be supportive of mental health and wellbeing. Remember, we’re all in this together. #strongertogether
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