If you feel as though your mental health is suffering during lockdown, you’re not alone. 1 in 5 UK adults profess to experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of depression. This is almost double the amount of adults who said the same pre-lockdown.
While most of our favourite activities and destinations remain closed, and little in the way of plans to look forward to, it can feel like this lockdown is never going to end.
We’ve put together some top tips to help build your resilience, and maintain better moods during lockdown:
Remember it’s OK to feel this way – We should feel proud of the measures we’re taking to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. But it’s important to remember that just because we have a good reason to, doesn’t make it easy. Low mood, low energy and loss of interests are all common symptoms of lockdown.
- Remember it’s OK to feel this way – We should feel proud of the measures we’re taking to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. But it’s important to remember that just because we have a good reason to, doesn’t make it easy. Low mood, low energy and loss of interests are all common symptoms of lockdown.
- Don’t compare yourself with others – Everyone is facing a different set of challenges that will affect us in a unique way. While social media can be a useful tool to stay connected, be sure to monitor your time spent on apps, as comparison effects can lead to negative mental health.
- Go back to basics – Sleep and exercise have a profound impact on our mental health, but these are often the first things we neglect when we are not feeling so good. Neuroscientist Matthew Walker describes sleep as our superpower, and exercise can help aid healthy sleep. Why not organise an online group workout with friends?
- Set a new goal or target – Whether as big as learning a new language, or something as small as trying out a new recipe for dinner one night, or taking a daily walk to somewhere new. Whether big or small, stepping outside your comfort zone will give you focus and a sense of control. For many people, this can be massively helpful for their mental state.
- Do it badly – Optimists live longer, have better relationships and better immune systems, says Olivia Remes of Cambridge University. The good news is you can cultivate optimism: Her number one tip is the principle of “do it badly”. In other words, don’t wait to do things perfectly, at the right time on the right day. Just do it!
- Be kind to yourself – It’s easy to think that your problems are small compared to what other people are going through. This shouldn’t invalidate any of your own feelings. If you think you need help, seek it out with someone you trust.
- How to help if someone else is struggling? – As part of our support networks, someone may eventually reach out to you for advice. They won’t expect you to have all the answers, and you shouldn’t expect that of yourself either. Try listening non-judgmentally, validate their feelings, and let them know they matter to you.