COVID-19: Prioritising mental health is just as important as washing your hands – here’s how to do it
Since Coronavirus has come along, normal routine has changed for most of us. We understand you may feel the need to catch up on all your favourite Netflix shows, eat junk food, and sleep until the middle of the day. After all, it’s a sad situation and when else will you have the time? But to manage in a crisis it’s vital to look after your mental health. Being mentally well means that you have enough resilience to manage your day-to-day life effectively and keep yourself positive during these tough times.
Nobody is saying you can’t watch TV and make the most of your time at home. But taking care to prevent any feelings of unhappiness during lockdown will boost your immune system and give you the best chance of staying healthy. Here’s our list of 5 ways you can prioritise your mental health and practice great self-care, without taking up too much time or breaking the bank.
Create a routine
Create a healthy, nourishing routine for yourself through the day that includes doing pleasant and enjoyable things, as well as exercise and connection with others. Prepare a nutritious dinner, connect with friends or family, perhaps watching something restful or funny, and go to sleep at a reasonable time.
If you are feeling anxious, try to avoid checking the news right before bed. Doing this can help you maintain good mental health under difficult circumstances.
Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep.
Group exercises may be off-limits, but this doesn’t mean that you should let your physical health fall by the wayside. Online yoga or a jog around the park will release endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body. Take some time to get your heart pumping and allow yourself a moment after a workout to note how exercise impacts your mood and overall sense of wellbeing.
Saying no is something many of us struggle with, and taking care of other people is something to be commended – but not at the cost of your mental health.
Saying no when we need to means we will have a greater capacity to say yes to the things that we need, the things we love, and the things we need to do to build ourselves up. This, in turn, will leave us better resourced and able to care for others more effectively.
Take your medication
Try to take it at the same time each day so you can really see if it is working for you. Don’t attempt to come off your medication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wait until you can see your doctor and have help in managing withdrawal side-effects.
In fact, try to refrain from making any life-changing decisions if at all possible – there is enough going on for you already!
See your mental health practitioner
If you suffer from a mental health condition, take time to talk to a professional. Most therapists are working online during COVID-19 and are available to help you work on your mental wellbeing.
It may feel scary to make that first appointment but just take it one step at a time and send an email. You are deserving of support.
Finding the COVID-19 pandemic stressful is normal, and whilst we will all respond in a unique way, struggling with difficult or uncomfortable anxiety is to be expected. Remember that you are not alone, and the COVID-19 lockdown will pass. Prioritising your mental health will give you the boost you need to help you to look after yourself and your loved ones effectively.
In the meantime, please reach out to us and get support online, or on the phone, if you need to talk.
A Few Words From…
Nuno Albuquerque, Treatment Lead
The current Coronavirus crisis is without a doubt a frightening time for everyone, especially for those suffering with addiction who are in need of critical care and immediate treatment. This is why we are going to every length possible in order to remain open and to provide the same standard of care, trust, love and support deserved to everyone with addiction. Addiction won’t pause during the Coronavirus crisis, and neither will we.