Mental Health & Wellbeing During Lockdown
During 2020 we all had to adjust to manage the impact Covid-19 has had on us all. We sadly are all aware of someone who has been affected by this devastating virus.
Here at Sufra, we take mental health and wellbeing seriously and understand how it can impact lives, especially our more vulnerable guests. On occasions, we also feel anxious with the overwhelming prospects of home schooling and not being able to see loved ones. But, our work is too important and therefore we must go on. We have a great team here, who help each other by sharing how we feel and taking regular breaks to ‘check in’ on how we are coping each day.
You may have your own personal ways to cope that you’ve used in the past, if so, now is the time to make use of these strategies again. Here are a few of our suggestions on how you can cope with lockdown 3.0.
Think about access to media and social media
The news can be distressing to some and others will want to soak up every scrap of news available. Too little or too much access to news media can lead to anxiety and even depression as we feel helpless in this sea of misery.
Think about limiting your access to news sources and be aware there is a lot of misinformation posted by individuals on social media. Is the news scaremongering or sensationalising the situation? Is the article reporting with balance and responsibility?
Don’t ignore your anxiety
This is a scary time for everyone, so do not deny how you feel. Your feelings are real to you! Exploring why you feel this way can help. Write down your thoughts and how you feel. Tell a family member or a friend how you feel. Share your thoughts through discussion. You will realise you are not alone and others may be just as scared and anxious.
Do something you can control
Take a walk. Call a friend. Get some shopping. Visit the park. Get that routine in place and keep up with those daily and weekly chores indoors. Once the work is done, congratulate yourself. We reward ourselves with a nice cup of tea!
Let it go
Allow yourself to worry, but try to write it down. Then put it away and get on with the day. This will help reduce the stress you feel inside as you have done something to cope.
Bring it back to the present
We all worry about what has happened in the past and what may lie ahead. However try to concentrate on the present moment. You are here, right now and there are small things you can do – wash, tidy, complete simple chores at home. Take a walk outside.
Think about your thought process
Be really aware of what you’re thinking. Sometimes we are focusing on all these ‘what ifs?’ Bring things back to what you actually know. Reassure yourself, calm yourself. We call it self-soothing.
Make sure you are looking after yourself, doing what you can to help get a good night’s sleep, eating well and doing exercise.
Anxiety and the release of stress hormones can exacerbate physical symptoms. Anxiety links our brain and body. Make sure you are doing what you can to look after your physical health.
Breathing techniques and mindfulness
Breathe slowly and deeply through your nose. This will help you control feelings of panic and anxiety. Try to disengage from those inner thoughts, which cause you to feel anxious. Sit in a quiet space, close your eyes and breathe deeply. It only takes 20 minutes every day and with practise, it will help you to feel better, calmer and stronger.
We hope some of these tips will help and support you throughout your day, please remember there is always help available, so if you’re feeling really low, do reach out to friends, family and professional organisations that can help.
Thanks to the British Counselling and Psychotherapy website for guidance on creating this article. https://www.bacp.co.uk/about-us/home/
Resources available online which may be of help: Clear Fear app – https://www.clearfear.co.uk/#row1