The outbreak of COVID-19 has hit hard all around the world. We’re living in very uncertain times with different messaging coming from different news outlets and countries taking drastically different actions.
This period of uncertainty is bringing a large amount of stress and anxiety to people who are worried about the health of loved ones as well as their jobs and financial security. On top of this, people are being asked to self isolate and work from home- two things which most people are not used to.
It’s important to ensure that you keep on top of both your physical and mental health during this challenging time and we have some tips for both of these below.
Self isolation and working from home can both get very lonely. You may be forced to stay away from loved ones or older relatives, but this doesn’t mean you have to stop talking to them altogether. Skype and FaceTime are both great ways to stay in touch with loved ones and friends during these difficult times.
If you don't have access to Skype or FaceTime, you can still pickup the phone, send an email or text people to stay in touch. Social distancing creates physical distance, but it doesn't need to create emotional distance.
Mental health charity MIND recommends putting up extra pictures of loved ones around your house to help prevent loneliness. Another tip to prevent loneliness is having the radio on or listening to podcasts. These have both been shown to reduce the effects of loneliness and improve mood.
If you’re working from home and are no longer going to the gym or no longer have that morning commute, it is important to stay active. The Government says that it is still currently safe to go out for a walk or a run as long as you are not going into densely packed public spaces. Keeping active not only helps your physical health, but also has great effects on your mental health.
If you’re in self isolation, you can still workout at home. Here’s a great article with some simple exercises you can do at home with no equipment
It could also be a great time to take up something such as yoga, which has been shown to have great benefits for your physical and mental health.
It’s important to keep your daily routines going whilst you work from home. This will help keep you more productive in your work and help normalise a very abnormal situation. So keep going to bed, waking up, having lunch and dinner at the same times you usually would. All of these things should help to keep you on track.
Above all, you need to pay close attention to your needs at this difficult time. If you’re feeling anxious, take a break from working and talk to family and friends or do some light exercise. Your physical and mental health is the most important thing right now and the best way to set yourself up for success is to give your mind and body what it needs.
Small victories are extremely important for mental health and that is why learning a new skill, or gaining mastery in something is great during this period of self isolation. So whatever it is you've been putting off all these years- learning the guitar, fixing that shelf, painting the spare room, whatever it is, now you've got the time to do it!
Eat healthy, exercise, stay connected, stay on a schedule and try something new. All of these things should help keep you healthy during this difficult time.
APECS would like to wish everyone the best of health during these challenging times and if you do need any help, there are a number of charities out there who can help, including;
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