By Vicky Cunnife
(COMMUNITY COLLEGE TEACHER)
Being in lockdown can be difficult. Here are three things you can do to keep yourself mentally healthy.
1. Go outside every day
We are all spending a lot of time indoors at the moment which can make us feel bored or anxious. Going outside – even for just 15 minutes – can be really helpful because it makes you think about something different.
Research has shown that being in nature can reduce stress levels, reduce anger and boost your mood.
As well as this, it encourages us to exercise, which is also very good for both our physical and mental health.
But you don’t have to go on a twenty mile hike! You can sit in your garden or take a walk around your neighbourhood. A fun idea (especially if you have kids!) is to go outside at nighttime and look at the stars.
2. Call a friend or relative every day
Did you know that research shows that texting or emailing does not produce the same benefits as speaking to somebody?
The best form of communication, according to scientists, is face to face communication, but this is difficult right now. The next best thing is to talk to someone on the phone (or on a video call).
Research shows that people who stay connected to friends or family are happier and healthier. Not only this, but a lot of people live on their own – if you have a friend who you think might be feeling lonely, reach out! It will do you both good.
3. Don’t watch the news!
It can be tempting to watch the news all the time, but if you repeatedly hear worrying things you can’t do anything about, it can make you anxious.
If you do want to watch the news, try just watching the headlines in the morning. Don’t watch it in the evenings or it might make it difficult to sleep.