It's not been an easy time
It has not been an easy time, staying home, not being able to go to school/work, go out with friends, or do usual leisure activities. In addition, school are requiring more with online learning and the weather has been colder and the days shorter. So, what can we do to help ourselves, so it does not have a bad impact on our emotional and mental wellbeing?
We all have mental health in the same way we have physical health. So sometimes we are in tip-top health and sometimes our body gets ill or gets hurt. In the same way our mental health can change.
It can feel a bit like a rollercoaster! Sometimes:
- We are feeling great!
- We are just about OK
- We can be a bit down in the dumps
Sometimes our mental health can get to the point where it’s not OK at all and it’s important to get some extra support.
Tips for maintaining good mental health
Create a schedule
Not having structure/routine to the day can be difficult. It may help to create your own fun timetable incorporating jobs you need to do, connecting with others, things you enjoy and even mealtimes with foods you are looking forward to. Looking at your timetable helps you to feel purposeful and productive.
Learn new skills
Try starting some new projects and learning new skills like baking, crafts, playing an instrument and writing stories. You could use the Anna Freud website with self-care ideas. All these are very good distraction techniques and keep you busy!
Why not join a free online singing group? Starting 15th April online, for 11-18 year olds. No experience necessary.
(Try to) relax
Relaxing to music, having a bath and personal pamper time are all very helpful to chill and take time for ourselves.
Keep a positive container/diary of nice things which happen during the day, which could include things like friends getting in touch, receiving a card in the post, or spending some fun time with your family. Remind yourself of all the things you are grateful for.
Use ACE as a model.
- Achieving on some days might be getting up and dressed and anything else is a bonus!
- Connecting with friends and family using the amazing technology available.
- Enjoying things that you are passionate about and give you a lift.
Find ways to help others whether it is family, friends or charities as this helps you to feel good about yourself, confirming your values and improving your self-esteem.
Take time to use your senses to connect with your environment. Spending time with animals is helpful as they do not worry about yesterday or think about tomorrow, being happy to play and be fed. If now is okay, then it is OKAY!
Avoid certain things as you know will make you feel worse, such as:
- Keeping things to yourself and not talking
- Spending too much time alone
- Being hard on yourself
- Staying in bed all day
- Taking things to heart
- Worrying too much
- Spending too much time checking the news or social media
- Focusing on negatives
Having a good laugh really helps to lift your mood, by listening, reading, telling jokes, or watching something funny!
Q: What kind of beans can’t grow in a garden?
A: Jelly beans
Eat, sleep, exercise
Make sure you are getting enough sleep, you're eating regularly, doing some exercise and getting some fresh air. Plenty of natural sunlight really helps!
Give yourself credit
Let's give ourselves credit for making the choice and taking the actions to keep ourselves and everyone else safe by following the guidance until the day we can go back to doing all our usual things.
Remember, we can make this a really rewarding time