There is a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment. From people experiencing the first-hand effects of coronavirus to those experiencing the ripple on effects – like the devastating loss of income and employment – society is seeing profound disruptions. Many people will have never experienced anything like this their lifetimes before. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and at times it might be hard to stay positive.
In light of that, we’ve put a together a list of things to do if you’re feeling less than great, and ways to keep on top of your mental health in general.
Now more than ever it’s important to stay on top of your well-being and mental health. We’ve put a together a list of things to help you stay positive.
Don’t ignore how you feel
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain, it’s important to acknowledge what you’re feeling. Whether it’s taking some time to actively self-reflect, meditating, or sharing how you feel with someone else, acknowledging your mental state will make you feel more grounded in the present moment and it’s the first step to actively changing your headspace.
There are plenty of apps which can help you with mindfulness and meditation including Headspace, Calm, and Ten Percent Happier. Headspace has a series of free, coronavirus-oriented exercises on offer right now, including meditation, sleep, and movement exercises. Head here to get started.
Embrace the arts
Art is celebrated for a reason. It makes us feel. Listening to music is not only guaranteed to improve your mental state but by streaming or buying music you can simultaneously support artists who are struggling from lack of income right now. It’s a great time to discover new music or listen to your favourites.
Reading also has plenty of mental health benefits and it’s also a good way to get away from staring at a screen. In light of coronavirus, Audible have also made hundreds of their audiobooks free so if you prefer to listen to someone else reading to you, then you’re in luck.
Some of the titles available for free include Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (narrated by Thandie Newton), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (narrated by Dan Stevens), as well as The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. Head here to start listening.
The School of Life is also a great resource for helpful videos based on positive psychology. Check out one below.
Keep on keeping on
Keeping a routine is important. Whilst gyms are closed, you can still do exercise at home. There are plenty of workout videos on YouTube which are accessible and easy to do. Even as little as 7 minutes of exercise a day will make a difference. Aside from that, the usuals – like getting enough sleep and eating well – will go a long way.
Now more than ever it’s also important to connect with the important people in your life. Check-in with how they’re doing – human connection goes a long way. A prominent 80-year old Harvard study found that close relationships are one of the most defining factors in a person’s happiness.
Take a minute
Studies have shown that spending even twenty minutes outside can improve your mental and physical well-being, reducing stress and mental fatigue, as well as blood pressure and heart rate. Whilst going to a park or getting amongst nature might not be an option for you due to coronavirus social distancing measures, even spending 20 minutes in your backyard will help you to feel better.
Finally, sometimes switching off is one of the most positive things you can do. If you work from home, make sure you spend some time away from your computer. With the bombardment of coronavirus news in the media and on social media, it’s important to log off to simply give your mind a break.