Looking after your mental health during lock down.

The Coronavirus pandemic has meant plans, resolutions and arrangements for 2020 have been thrown out of the window. Replaced by concerns for our physical health, food supplies, livelihoods and the education of our children and young people.

But what about our mental health? With increasing levels of poor mental well being in normal times, consideration must be given for how this prolonged period of lock down is affecting our individual and collective mental health during 2020 and beyond.

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness week (taking place from 18-24 May) our Project Manager Abbi shared the challenges she faced when lock down was announced and some tactics she’s used to support her mental health.

 

“I have always been active and I use physical activity to give me energy, to socialise, reduce stress but most importantly it gives me time for me.  I work and have 2 small children so finding time is hard but I prioritise it as it makes me a better mummy!  As soon as I have done some form of physical activity and the endorphins are released my mood instantly changes, I’m happy, positive and motivated.”

“When Lockdown was first announced I was really worried – the gym is the place I go to help with my mental health.  The first few weeks of lock down were really tough and finding time for ‘me’ was non-existent.  I could feel I was slipping and my mood and mental health was started to be affected.”

Abbi with her children

“I realised I needed to incorporate physical activity into my daily routine.  Luckily my gym has been putting on daily classes so I talked to the children (and my husband!) and said that every morning I’m going to do a virtual gym class.  The children could join in or watch me whilst playing in the fresh air.  I do this now 5 mornings a week and it has made an enormous difference to my mental health.”

“I don’t always want to do it but by the end of the session I feel like a different person – I’m happier, more motivated, more alert and feel I’m able to tackle anything.  I do get mum guilt when the children want me to play but I tell myself its only 45 minutes and then they have mummy for the whole day.  I have to be kind to myself as I know its so important for my mental health which in turns ensures the rest of the family are happy.”

“I have to be kind to myself as I know its so important for my mental health. The days don’t always go as planned and trying to work with two small children is no easy task but doing my exercise in the morning ensures that I feel the best I can.”

“The days don’t always go as planned and trying to work with two small children is no easy task but doing my exercise in the morning ensures that I feel the best I can.  I also know that by the evening and the kids are in bed I can sit on the sofa with a (small) glass of wine and relax not feeling guilty about not moving that day!”

 

Looking for inspiration to get or stay active? Click here for ideas for all ages and abilities.

Mental Health Charity Mind are here for everyone during this crisis and their website has a whole host of resources and support. Click here to access the Mind website.