We are all currently experiencing great changes to our everyday lives, whether that may be having to work from home, spending 24/7 in the house alone or with loved ones, or generally feeling less connected with the world due to social distancing. With all of this concentrated time in the house on our hands, here are some ideas on how to best utilise our time, to keep ourselves focused, energised and mentally well.
- Call friends and family– although we are restricted to meeting up face to face, we can still call and facetime our friends and family to check in, catch up and make sure they have everything they need. As a Mental Health First Aider and trainer, checking in with people is an important thing to do now as many people will be struggling mentally with being isolated. You don’t need to be trained in MHFA to be there for someone, pick up the phone and check in when you can, it could make a huge difference.
- Host virtual coffee catch ups- just like we would meet up for a coffee for a work meeting or catching up with friends, we can do this virtually by all making a drink at the same time and catching up/hosting our meeting as we would face to face.
- Podcasts- it’s easy to fall into the trap of sitting watching Netflix on repeat, but there are some incredibly interesting podcasts out there for us to tap into, stimulate our brains and start up interesting conversations with those in our house or whom we choose to speak to on the phone. A few of my favourites are: Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place, Getting Curious by Jonathan Van Ness, Oprah Winfrey’s SoulSessions, and Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO.
- Books- I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I have a stack of books both coaching related and fiction waiting to be read! It’s one thing I am most definitely going to get on top of during isolation, with finishing a book comes great satisfaction!
- Mindful activity- although going to the gym and doing sport activities are restricted, we still have the ability to be creative by drawing, painting, creating, stitching, jigsaws and colouring. These are all incredibly mindful activities which can help us switch off from the world around us. We may also find mindfulness meditation videos on YouTube to listen to, to help relax.
- Get fresh air- it’s so important to get some fresh air when we are feeling cooped up. Go for walks or enjoy a cup of tea in the garden to breath in clean air, it has a great impact on our mental wellbeing.
- Eat well- it’s easy to allow ourselves to eat our way through the chocolate and crisps in the cupboards but if we can it’s far better for us to stick to healthy foods and keep to our usual mealtimes which will help us maintain a routine.
- Move your body- besides walking there are many great online workouts we can follow to get our body moving for just 30 minutes. It will keep us in good shape and release some much needed endorphins! ‘The Body Coach’ and ‘Results Wellness Lifestyle’ have some brilliant HIIT workouts for everyone to access.
- Create goals- this is a great opportunity to check in with any new years goals we created, see what progress we have made this year and prepare for the rest of the year ahead as our goals may well change. See our previous blog post ‘3 tips for creating goals’ for more inspiration on setting goals.
- Be kind to yourself- we can’t change what is happening around us but we can change how we respond to it. Keep yourself in a positive frame of mind by focusing on what you can do at this time, rather than what is out of your control. Make a difference to those around you by helping where you can, it’s a great benefit to our own mental health when we feel like we have helped others.
Keep yourself busy, keep moving your body and reach out if you’re in need of support. We can all help and support each other during this uncertain time.
‘Find your potential to shine’