These are unprecedented times, nothing has caused such societal pressure since the second world war, we have been asked to stay at home for months which has caused; financial pressure, uncertainty and is beginning to affect the nations’ mental health.

Here are some ideas to help you feel more in control and to lessen the anxiety:

ROUTINE
Set up a routine for the week, get up at the same time, set yourself some tasks for the day and go to bed at the same time. Routine is good for your mental health.

CONTROL YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
If news is causing your anxiety to be elevated, consider editing your preferences in your social media accounts to hide posts with ‘Covid19’ and ‘Virus’ to limit your exposure to worrying news.

MAINTAIN YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK
Self-isolation will be difficult, your social and family support has changed and you might feel a bit cut off or worried about family and friends. Use social media to keep connected with them, set up regular friend or family time with Messenger, Skype or Zoom, this will be good for moral.

TRY SOMETHING NEW
Is there a hobby you have wanted to try? Books you’ve wanted to read, try… 100 books you should read? Have you had aspirations to write a blog?

If you’ve wanted to learn more about art why not take a virtual tour of an art gallery. It is your time to explore some new things that will keep you occupied and stimulated in the months ahead.

CONNECT WITH NATURE
Get outside for a walk if you can but if you are in complete lock down, use your garden or outside space to get some fresh air and activity.

Gardening can be done with or without a garden, you could plant up some pots with seeds or plants or maybe you could grow some vegetables or herbs.

Have a cuppa outside if the weather allows it and see what animals, insects or birds you can see. A great idea if you can’t get out at all, is to visit the National Trust Virtual Tours.

SELF CARE
Give yourself a self-care review, what could you do to help lower your anxiety levels?

Perhaps you could try some Yoga or Tai Chi via YouTube or download an app like Calm or Headspace which have guided meditation and relaxation.

Take this time to address your needs and desires while you have the opportunity to do so.

VOLUNTEER
If you aren’t in a high risk group, how about volunteering for your local Covid Community Hub?

Communities are setting up help hubs for people who are shielded right now, with shopping or phone calls to prevent loneliness. Visit NHS volunteer responders
.

Let me know if you try any of these and if they helped?

Libby Bassnett
Plan B Counsellor