7 tricks for keeping your head right, while keeping your distance
Some people are practicing their tekkers on the daily, others are sorting out their sneaker collection. Both worthy of the effort but as we start to get used to this new routine it’s easy to neglect one thing: emotional wellbeing. The truth is, it’s LONG without seeing your mates, schooling from home and spending time in lockdown with family. It all poses challenges to our mental wellbeing.
We’ve teamed up with Unmind to bring you seven tricks of mental wellbeing, that will help you to proactively manage your mental health while preparing to get back out there.
We’re all social beings; wired to need community around us. Feeling lonely and cut-off is perfectly normal during social distancing. But loneliness is not about having no one else around – it’s about reaching out to make proper connections.
- Plan your meet ups: Get proper time with friends, family or teammates through video call, or using fitness apps or games to connect with people.
- Don’t be distracted on the calls. Be real, ask about how they’re feeling and talk about how you really feel too.
- Share what you’ve been through: We’re all in it together. By talking about the challenges you’ve faced and how you’re dealing with them, you could help others manage theirs.
2. Keep it chill
Let’s be real, this whole situation is NUTZ. But dealing with this alone, all while juggling school work, college work, whatever, can boost up those stress levels, and lead to anxiety. Not good for anyone.
- DON’T PANIC. Feeling stressed is normal right now – and they bear no reflection on your ability to do your work or keep up your training.
- Take out your headphones and turn off your screens. Yes, stay informed, but too much news (fake or not) will only tap into that nervous energy which isn’t always helpful.
- Get the facts right. Don’t trust socials for the news. Check out government and public health advice. Go to: WHO (World Health Organization) or local government websites (UK).
There’s no right or wrong. Go for a run, read a book or watch the snooker repeats. Find what works best for you.(Just don’t let your mates catch you watching snooker repeats. Really? Snooker? who does that?)
3. Good vibes
Big changes to daily life can put your mood a little ‘off-key’. It’s true, and that’s ok. When you have money issues, work or study worries and even relationship strains it all adds up. You just need to take steps to avoid developing a constant low mood or depression.
- Get outside to get some fresh air and your blood pumping.
- Don’t beat yourself up, accept you can’t be perfect.
- If everything seems negative, try to look for positives.
- Live in the moment. Thoughts are just thoughts. You can get distance from them if you try.
4. Dealing with it
If you’re stuck at home and trying to keep up some form of routine with work or study, the lines can become a bit blurred.
- Structure is the main tactic. Speak to your family members or class mates about setting clear goals. Agree who does what, or what work needs to be delivered and this will give everyone the space to perform properly.
- Design your day in advance, ideally remaining pretty close to how it was before COVID-19. Get up at a set time, have breakfast, use your would-be commute time to listen to music, grab a quick game of FIFA (whatever works for you), and then kick off your day.
- Shut down at the end of the day. If you’re working or studying, shut down your computer, avoid looking at emails, and settle in for another evening of self-isolation.
5. Peak fitness
Physical and mental fitness are closely linked. Like the rest of our bodies, our brains rely on good blood flow and glucose metabolism to hit peak form. So exercise is even more critical in these crazy lockdown times.
- Don’t spend all day indoors on the X-box. Take a walk in the fresh air or go for a run around the park.
- If you can’t go out, get your blood pumping indoors. There are plenty of exercise videos available online for everything from fitness to mindfulness, meditations to yoga classes.
- Eat your greens. Ensure you’re getting the right level of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, try passing on the fries and fuelling half of your plate with vegetables and fruits instead. You can do it!
If you’re a ‘step counter’ don’t get hooked up on the drop in numbers. Just plan your day with plenty of exercise. Remember, quarantining will pass and normal routines will be picked up soon enough.
6. Catching some shut eye
Keeping on the move leaves you tired at the end of the day. But while that’s hard to do, it can be easy to get lost in Netflix and harder to get that quality sleep. But, missing out on sleep can hit your ability to cope with the increased pressure you’re under and leave you spinnin’ feeling even more anxious.
- Get outside in daylight. Being exposed to bright light helps your body and brain tell you when to be awake and when to get to sleep.
- If you can avoid it, try not to work in your bedroom. It could make you disassociate it with sleep. If you need to be in your room, avoid sitting on your bed.
Put your phone down. Bright light is good during the day, but not before sleep. That DM can wait. Log off to help your brain unwind.
When it feels like the worlds gone crazy, you gotta keep it real. Stay true to yourself, keep those positive vibes and energy in the right places. Studying or working from home can often be a tough game to get control of; working too hard to keep the boss happy then running out of steam or losing your stride, getting too easily distracted.
- Keep that mind focussed: hold on to the bigger picture and remember it will end.
- Stick to a routine.
- Celebrate the small wins and make even little tasks count.
- Keep connected with video chats.
- Accept that some relationships will need you to work and flex.
- Get each others backs. Look out for your loved ones.