Seven Tips On How To Protect Your Mental Health During Lockdown

The World Health Organisation (WHO) explains mental health as a state of wellbeing which contributes to how a person realises his or her abilities, works productively, is able to contribute to the community and copes with the everyday stresses of life.

Because mental health affects how we think, feel, act, and relate to others; it is critical that it is taken care of at every stage of life. And with slightly more than one in ten people globally (10.7 per cent) living with a mental health disorder, it is vital to improve awareness, support and treatment for these conditions. Anxiety disorders remain one of the most prevalent mental health illnesses in the world, with 3.8 per cent of the world’s population reportedly affected as of 2017. Depression follows closely, with 3.4 per cent of the global population affected.

These were the statistics before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. However, projections released in May 2020 by the Centre for Mental Health indicated that an additional 500.000 people in the UK could be expected to experience mental health issues such as depression if the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis was similar to that of the post-2008 recession.

Indeed, the restrictions imposed by the lockdown were expected to contribute to an increase in the proportion of people experiencing more complicated grief reactions. Additionally, 20 per cent of intensive care survivors routinely experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This means that the higher numbers of patients receiving such critical care as a result of coronavirus translate to more people at risk of PTSD. The risk of health and care workers, among other frontline workers, developing mental health problems, too, cannot be downplayed.

Luckily, there are some lifestyle changes we can make to improve our mental health and wellbeing and allow our minds and bodies to work at their optimal level. Here are seven tips to help improve your mental wellbeing during the coronavirus lockdown.

Eat Healthy

Food is fuel for our bodies, which determines the types of nutrients in our system and impacts our minds and bodies. Improving your diet may help to give you more energy, boost your mood and help you think more clearly. Therefore, focus on eating plenty of vegetables and fruits along with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, fibre like whole grains and beans, folate like lentils.

Also, try to cut back on caffeine. Caffeine acts as a stimulant that increases activity in your nervous system and brain, so it can make you anxious and restless. Additionally, make sure to avoid alcohol. While when you are stressed out, alcohol might seem to offer relief, this could contribute to our low mood, cause depression and anxiety and disturbed sleep.

Maintain Regular Physical Activity

Exercising helps to release good endorphins into the brain. But there is no need to feel guilty about not going out and running a 5k every morning like that one person on your Instagram stories. There is a time and a place for that, but there is also a time to rest and look after your body by not exercising.

Why not make your daily exercise a reason to get out in nature? Getting out for a walk in nature even for a quick jog or walk helps to sustain physical activity and might help to soothe the mind and change the way our brains work, improving our mental health and clarity.

Sleep Well

Sleep is as essential to our mental health as breathing, eating and drinking. It helps the body to repair itself and the brain to process information and consolidate our memories.

In contrast, lack of sleep is linked to physical problems such as exhaustion and weakened immune system and mental health problems such as stress and depression. Always prioritise good night’s sleep and stick to at least 7 hours each day.

Consider Taking CBD Oil

We are quick to take human-made harmful medicines, but why should we be so quick to dismiss natural alternatives that could heal us from within? CBD can provide us with a wealth of physical and mental health benefits, and therefore can be used as a natural and alternative way for us to improve our overall wellbeing. It is thought to interact with the cell-signalling endocannabinoid system involved in most bodily processes such as mood, sleep, stress, pain, immune system, etc. By positively influencing special receptors, CBD products can help to relieve anxiety and stress levels, diminish pain, regulate sleep, boost mood, aside from other useful functions.

What’s more, CBD comes in various formats and products types. For example, if you are a vaper, you can add CBD vape oil as a constituent to your vape juice, if you like to munch on sweets and snacks, CBD edibles will fit nicely to snacktime, if you have a daily routine that includes moisturiser, creams and balms you can also apply CBD topically in various forms. There are also CBD capsules, oral sprays and drops. Therefore, it is recommended to do a search online and investigate what products will suit you! If you are a first time user of CBD then we also always recommend that you start on a low-dose and increase if necessary.

Try Out Meditation

Meditating allows us to be present with our thoughts and how our body is feeling by taking a moment within ourselves to process the day. Alternatively, you can use guided meditation. Headspace and Calm are one of the best apps on the market at the moment with a range of meditation programmes and sleep soundscapes to cater to your needs.

Stay Connected

Make sure to combat the isolation that we all feel right now, do not suffer in silence, stay in touch virtually with those close to you; this will give you a sense of belonging.

Take A Social Media Cleanse

Too much time pointlessly scrolling on social media can cause us to feel anxious and stressed, and interrupt with sleeping habits. Try to read less news and spend less time on the tech.