We have all been affected one way or another by the pandemic and it has taken a toll on many people’s mental health.
Gov.uk recorded that average mental distress was 8.1% higher in April 2020 than it was between 2017 and 2019 and almost a million adults (966,988) contacted mental health services at the end of December 2020.
With restrictions being eased later this month, the impact the pandemic has left on our mental health will continue to persist.
How you can help improve your mental health:
Getting exercise increases our endorphin levels, giving us the so-called ‘runners high’. This isn’t about running a marathon or climbing the three peaks; it’s about doing little things and often to get your body moving. Take a walk outside and get some fresh air, dance in your living room or lift some weights – the important thing is do something that will be fun to do.
We are social animals and many people thrive when surrounded by others, but the pandemic has isolated us from our friends and family. It is important to try and schedule time to speak to those we care about, whether via Zoom, a phone call or text message. Make time for those who may reach out if they are feeling anxious, but remember, if you or anyone you know needs specialist help, there are many organisations that are available such as the Salvation Army, Mind and the NHS helpline.
Be in touch with nature
Now more than ever people are appreciating how important the natural world is for improving our mental health. Not all of us have the option to go into the countryside but you can bring nature to you by sitting near a window and watching birds whilst getting some much-needed sunlight. Or buy some house plants and create a little haven that you can retreat to. Better yet, why not try your hand at growing nature? Just buying a packet of mixed flowers can see your windowsill become a beautiful mini garden.
Detox from social media
The pandemic has given rise to several new phrases including the term ‘Doomscrolling’ – the act of spending excessive time reading through negative news. Looking at this type of information can lead to increased stress and anxiety and is harmful for our mental wellbeing. Take some time away from this by turning your phone off and avoiding watching or reading any news. Spend time instead doing the things you enjoy and allow yourself to unwind without seeing negative information. Remember to fact check anything you read with a reputable source.
Good quality sleep
Sleep allows our bodies and brains to repair themselves and has been proven to help improve our mental health. Try and keep to a strict routine which will give you time to relax before you go to sleep. As hard as it may be, don’t be tempted to keep your phone by your bedside or watch any TV, these are distractions and cause the brain to become active thereby making sleep difficult. If you find you can’t sleep, try reading a book or listen to peaceful music to help you feel sleepy.
How can we further help you?
At SFB Consulting, we offer online courses that will help you as a business or an individual to manage the difficulties that the pandemic has brought to our mental health, including:
- Introduction to emotional intelligence
- Stress management
- Drug and alcohol awareness
- Managing sickness and absence
If you wish to discuss any of our courses, please get in touch by calling us on 01279 874676.