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Managing stress and anxiety during lockdown

There is no doubt that we are living in challenging, uncertain times and with another national lockdown, as a result of the pandemic due to begin later this week, it is so important to practice a little self-care and look after your mental health.

Here are some tips to help you to manage anxieties and create a little bit of your own certainty.

Stick to a routine – keep to a daily routine, in order to provide some structure to your day. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day and eat regular, nutritious meals. If you are working from home, force yourself to stop at a set finishing time and then find something else to do which enables you to relax and unwind.

Exercise regularly – this will help to release endorphins which are feel good chemicals, giving mood a boost. Exercise will also increase general energy levels, improve sleep and maintain good overall health. Even when the thought of exercising feels like a chore…try it and see how much better you feels afterwards. Research by the mental health foundation shows that six in 10 adults report to feeling less stressed as a result of taking regular walks during the pandemic. Taking a walk in an open green space will have an even bigger impact!

Limit the use of technology – Whilst technology is great for allowing us to stay in contact with others, it’s easy to spend too much time scrolling through news stories and constantly exposing ourselves to any negativity there. This can cause heightened levels of anxiety and increase uncertainty, especially when we are already feeling overwhelmed.

Practice daily gratitude – When we feel stressed, lost and out of control of what’s happening in our life, thinking about the things that we are grateful for, even the simple things like a morning coffee or tea, sunshine after a rainy day, or an uplifting telephone call from a friend, helps to reframe our thoughts, regain some control and build a more positive perspective. Try keeping a daily journal and including a list of the things which you are grateful for.

Make time for yourself – create some time and space every day, to do something which is just for you. Perhaps taking a relaxing soak in a bath of bubbles, reading a book, watching a favourite film or chilling out with some good tunes.

We can and will get through this together!

Stay socially connected, check in on others and if you are finding things too difficult, it’s important to talk with friends, family or professionals about your feelings and ask for the help that you need.

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