[Image taken from Liberal Democrat article on World Mental Health day].
This lockdown may feel even harder than previous ones, as nine months of restrictions take their toll on all of us.
Many of us are juggling work, home schooling and the sadness of being away from family and friends. Others are dealing with anxiety after losing their jobs, and of course many people have lost loved ones to the virus.
It is important to seek help if you need it and there are lots of places to find support.
While we all know the benefits of taking regular physical exercise, we also need to look after our mental health. Winter can make this especially hard, when the gloomy, cold weather can have an impact on our feelings too.
You may be experiencing anxiety about catching Covid, government restrictions, changes to your home or financial situation, or feeling hopeless and frustrated about when the pandemic will end.
The pandemic might also be exacerbating existing mental health problems such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or bipolar disorder.
Things might feel hard right now, but this situation is unusual. And it won't last forever.
- Find ways to connect with others, virtually or in person where restrictions allow.
- Get as much fresh air and natural light as you can, whether that's getting out for a walk or sitting near a window.
- Find ways to relax and be creative to help you express your feelings.
- Look after your physical health by eating well, staying hydrated and keeping active.
- Find an offline/online balance, particularly with news to ensure that you don't become overwhelmed or misinformed about the situation.
Sources of help
In the meantime, there are lots of places you can seek help. The following organisations are here if you need to talk. They also have a host of resources to help you manage anxiety, stress and phobias.
Samaritans 116 123
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) 0800 58 58 58
No Panic 0844 967 4848
Mind have lots of useful tips on how to look after your mental health during lockdown.
SANE 0300 304 7000