Lockdown Lessons for Mental Health: 7 health-full habits that will last you a lifetime
There’s no reason you can't make the most out of lockdown. That’s why we take the time to share our top tools for mind-maintenance and self-care during this period. Not only will these top-of-the range tips get you through the last part of the lockdown, but these feel-good, healthy habits you’ll harness will last you lifetime.
To say that the last few weeks have been stressful would be an understatement. No one could have imagined this way of living just a few short weeks ago, but here we are. It’s required a huge amount of adjustment and a lot of patience from all of us. With all this change going on, it's not enough just to change the way we go about our daily activities. We have to adjust our mindsets too.
The good news is that we can all still choose to remain positive and mindful with the right outlook and by making sure we build on our healthy habits everyday.
That’s why we’ve created a coronavirus mental health survival kit, packed with all the tools you need to keep calm and motivated during the more difficult times. From physical exercise to productive planning, we give you the low-down on the best way to combine the most important mental health techniques for a full-proof anti-anxiety guide.
1. Self care and ‘you-time’
The first and maybe the most important tip of all: focus on yourself. You’re allowed to relax! It’s okay. No guilt. No strings attached. We’re only a few months in and already most of us have had an unbelievably stressful year. Don’t get so wrapped up in thinking about the coronavirus that you forget to maintain your own well-being and peace of mind.
According to Patient, self care is on the top of the mental health to-do list. “It's easy to slip into the habit of sleeping late, spending all day in your pyjamas and eating junk food, but looking after yourself is essential for your mental health.” Sometimes, even simple things such as washing your face can feel difficult, but they can make a big difference to the way you feel.
So take a nice long bath, make a healthy, hearty lunch or take the time to read your favorite book. Maybe indulge in a mini spa day for yourself or spend the afternoon trying out some new arts and crafts. It’s up to you.
2. Internal talk
Negative self-talk is natural, and it's our job to stop it in its tracks. You may be critical of the way you’ve handled this lockdown, or feel as if you’re struggling with working from home more than you thought you would. Maybe you haven't stayed as motivated as you would have liked to. By taking the time to practice simple yoga techniques and do a short meditation session once a day, you can form a more positive connection with your mind and body, as well as establish a better, more healthy self-talk.
You'll find a surprising sense of calm despite all the disruption you may be feeling. Remember, speaking badly to ourselves about these things only increases the natural anxiety and negative feelings that have already been building up during this stressful time.
3. Prevent any physical pain
Allowing anxiety to take a front seat in your inner self-talk is not only bad for your mind, but also bad for your body. The physical stress that anxiety places on your body can really affect your current quality of life. That’s why it's especially important to keep a positive outlook and take the time to self-reflect, meditate or focus on a fun, stress-free hobby.
Don’t get frustrated if it takes some time. When it comes to mental health there is no quick-fix, all-at-once solution to stop feelings of anxiety or stress. You can even check out this great blog if you need more help in finding effective ways to deal with anxiety. It takes a lot of practice to develop the skills you need to be able to focus your thoughts and keep your own healing and health in mind - but it’s really important that you do.
4. Focus on Fitness
Exercise can be a great way to clear your head and relieve any build-up of anxiety or tension. Say goodbye to being a couch potato! There’s no better way to feel motivated than to get moving. These easy at-home exercises will get the blood pumping and give you a chance to turn your mind away from all the coronavirus panic and focus on something different.
Making good on your promise to get fit and commit to a healthy lifestyle can also give you a great sense of achievement and that self-esteem boost you may be lacking right now.
5. Eat clean, feel good
What’s a healthy mind without a healthy body? Fuel your body with delicious, nutritious meals and your mind will thank you for it later - we promise. Often just feeling like we’re doing something good for our body can be inspiring and encouraging.
Healthy eating has even been linked to a better mental health and mood. So get in the kitchen and try some of Oneplan’s simple & healthy recipes to keep your food interesting during the lockdown. It may even be a great way to keep the whole house busy during these next few weeks.
6. Find peace in productivity
Staying up-to-date and dedicated to your work is really important. Adjusting to working from home or continuing your studies online can feel like a big shift and, with this change of gear, it's important to stay on track and establish a sense of structure in your life.
Here’s some tips for when your motivation meter is running low:
1. Plan. Plan. Plan.
2. Create a realistic weekly to-do list and mark off important due dates in your calendar. Set daily reminders on your phone just in case you forget those sneaky tasks that tend to creep up on you out of nowhere.
3. Try using a fun app like Trello to make managing your task, checklists and upcoming projects a bit easier.
4. Create a designated workspace where you can focus on the task at hand and stay free of all distractions.
5. If you are struggling to stay productive, find someone in your household to help keep you accountable. Share what you want to achieve during your work or study time and give feedback afterwards.
By staying on track and up-to-date with your work, it will take a huge amount of pressure off of you and allow you to maintain a more stress-free mindset. Who knows, with this adapted way of working you may even unlock some creativity or new ideas that you've never seen before.
7. Stay connected
Chat to friends and coworkers regularly. Instead of retreating into a cocoon of days spent in your pajamas and eating more snack packs than you thought were humanly possible (we’re speaking from experience here), stay connected and interactive with the important people in your life.
Use this as an opportunity to rely on loved ones and reach out to friends in ways you haven’t allowed yourself to before. Social media is also a great way to feel connected, but be sure not to overdo it. Everything in moderation, right?
It might all seem a bit foreign at first but a great FaceTime or Skype call with a friend may just be the thing to make your day and put a smile on your face.
By the way, if you’re not following us on Facebook yet, what are you waiting for? We’d love to hear your feedback.
Distressed thoughts, anxiety or any other negative feelings can be a huge burden on your mental health and cause a variety of other physical stresses on your body. Your health is always our priority and we want to make sure you’re looking after yourself as best as you can.
That’s why we've always got you covered. You have enough to worry about with everything else going on - let us handle your health. If any unexpected issues come up out of the blue, we’re here to handle it with our Oneplan Health Insurance plans.
If you want to be even more clued-up, check out this helpful blog about why Oneplan Health Insurance is a medical must-have during lockdown. Reliable health cover is just a click away. No additional worries. We’re affordable and stress-free. That's always the Oneplan guarantee.
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