It is not unusual for people to have seen an increase in their anxiety and depression levels. And this is not surprising! Although the last lockdown was over a year ago in August 2021, is always a fear that one could be re-enforced, making us feel cut off for weeks or months at a time from those you love. Fear of catching the virus (or any virus), financial concerns, and all of the crazy things that pop up on our social media feeds can also have a massive effect on our mental wellbeing.
How can we overcome this and what steps can we take to ensure our mental wellbeing can be maintained? I’ve put together a few helpful tips to help improve and maintain mental wellbeing.
Create a regular exercise routine and stick to it.
I know exercise is always included in mental health tips, but there’s a reason for that: it works! Find a time in the day that works for you, as well as a type of exercise that you love. If you’re unsure what to try, try a different style each week. For example: you could try yoga one week, and strength training the next. Walking is always great because it gets you outside into the sunshine and fresh air.
Limit your news time and social media time.
Listening or reading too much about the pandemic will inevitably have an effect on your mood. Remove or unfollow the friend from social media who constantly posts negative content that brings you down. Just listen to the facts that you need to know on the news, such as what alert level we are operating under, and what it entails. This can help to reduce your stress and anxiety.
Use technology in a positive way by connecting online with loved ones.
This can be particularly beneficial for those of us who have friends and family overseas. By talking to those we love and sharing thoughts, fears, and feelings, anxiety and depression can be reduced.
Stay healthy to help minimise the effects that the COVID-19 virus could have on your body.
Eating nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables provides our bodies with vitamins and minerals that can help fight off infections and reduce inflammation. The gut and the brain are also intimately connected, so what you eat can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing.
Make time for fun!
This can be with your family or friends (in person or online) where you can play board games, charades, watch a movie, or have a dance around the living room. By having fun, you may find yourself lost in laughter, which can help boost your feel-good hormones, positively affecting your mood.
Seek help if you are struggling with negative thoughts and emotions.
You can find help in many places: friends and family, professionals such as counsellors, and calling or texting 1737 at any time for free help and support from trained counsellors.
A pandemic is hard for everyone, and it is evident that it has a huge impact on mental health. My biggest tip is to keep talking to your loved ones and be supportive of those around you. All the best, and remember the make time for fun!