Staying Mentally Well During the Coronavirus Outbreak
These are tough and challenging times – every day brings a new ambush of news on death counts, plans being cancelled and new and ever-evolving guidance. It can be hard to keep up, and yet we must for not only our own sakes, but for the sake of our communities.
Jobs feel at risk, as do livelihoods, as well as the risk on our loved ones lives.
However, it is also a more important time than ever to look after your mental wellbeing. Life must and will go on – and it is important to find the good, appreciate the smaller things that bring us joy and find peace with our own company during isolation.
With this in mind, we have created a list of activities you can do during self-isolation that are also good for your mental wellbeing:
Make it your mission to read positive news every day, too! If you read negative press, be sure to fact check the article to make sure it’s not fake news.
Visit an online museum
Travelling may be off-limits, but that doesn’t have to mean you can’t travel from the comfort of your home. Here are 12 virtual tours of museums! Find the link here.
I’ve recently discovered POPSUGAR’s free YouTube videos – and I can’t rate them highly enough. There is a mix of videos based on ability, exercise type and so on – my favourites include ones from Ranier Pollard as he’s a comedian, and lifts spirits throughout! Find the free workout videos here.
Learn to Hula Hoop
Keeping fit doesn’t have to be boring – why not learn how to hula hoop! Here are some more free tutorials, this time from the very inspiring Bee Varga.
Watch theatre online
Theatres may be closing left, right and centre, but the industry is ever-evolving. Many theatres are planning to go online – with the National Theatre showing a free show every Thursday here.
Sort out your photos
Have you been putting off backing up your photos, deleting duplicates or creating an album? Now is a great time to start! Groupon often have great deals on photo books too – and the act of looking over memories should bring a smile to your face, especially those funny baby photos!
Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do
Does ‘learn a musical instrument’ appear on your resolution list every year? Along with finish a book series, learn to draw and learn to sew? Now is the perfect time to start! The distraction is great for your brain and time will pass far quicker.
Deep breathing is extraordinarily good for controlling stress. There are lots of apps to help you focus and get rid of some of that stress your body is holding on to.
Have you been meaning to paint your walls for months? Put up a picture wall? Retile your bathroom? If you’ve got the tools to hand – why not give it a go. After all, if you are going to be inside a lot, you want to have something nice and new to look at!
Facetime a loved one
Whether it’s Skype, Facetime or some over form of video call, now is the time to actually call people and answer your phone. This will help keep your social interaction levels high, and therefore your mood better. Well, depending on who you are talking to of course!
Dancing automatically lifts your mood – why not dig out that old Just Dance Wii game? Or just put on some music and dance away – you don’t have to look good to dance after all!
What’s in your cupboard?
Supermarkets are having a high amount of visitors, so why not create food from scratch? I’ve found an app/website where you enter what food you have, and it tells you what food you can cook! See it here.
if you have a garden, it’s a great time to plant those seeds you’ve been hoarding. A nice colourful garden will not only lift your spirits, but the insects will enjoy it too!
Write a journal
Writing or drawing in a journal can be very therapeutic.
Board games, card games, console games – anything that can engage your brain! You can also dig out the Sudoku or crosswords books.
Many libraries now have online downloading areas for you to borrow books and the like – why not visit the website for your local library?
Box set galore
Ask your friends for film and series recommendations – we’ve just finished watching ‘The Stranger’ on Netflix by recommendation – it’s amazing what you can discover by asking your contacts for what to watch!
The Marie Kondo method
It’s time to ‘spark joy’ – so why not use this time to have a clear out? Marie Kondo has a great series on Netflix or she has books you can borrow or download.
Go on a bike ride
Fresh air and freedom, a good way to clear the cobwebs and get some exercise in.
Be the King or Queen of Clean
Not only is it beneficial at this time to do a deep Spring clean, but getting things in order can make you feel better mentally too.
Why not learn to do calligraphy, paint or draw? There are plenty of videos online to help teach you a new skill and it’s also a great distraction technique.
Check out educational resources
If you have children, these ideas are handy!
Try and relax
Have a bath, listen to music – do whatever it takes to get a good nights sleep.