Mental health techniques that may help you too
Lockdown has presented everyone with many challenges, one of which is dealing with our mental health. I will illustrate several techniques which I have used during and after lockdown to help manage my mental health in a positive way.
During lockdown one of the things which affected me the most was the lack of social interaction with my friends and family. Luckily there are several platforms which can be used to help us stay in contact with others. One method which I used to help with preventing loneliness was by speaking to my friends and family via skype or video calling.
Some basic techniques
Some techniques I used to help with controlling anxiety pre and post lockdown included:
-Writing down how I was feeling and what I could be worried about: this can be a good way to track how you feel over the week.
-Sleeping well: trying to go to bed at the same time each night can make you feel a lot more energised the next day.
-Communication: Out of all the techniques, talking to a friend, family member or counsellor can really help you as most of the time for me the problem wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Mental Health Services
Furthermore, during lockdown there were still mental health services available including the wellbeing team at the University of Brighton. They helped put me in contact with Brighton and Hove wellbeing service which allowed me to speak to a counsellor over the phone as well as start some CBT. Their service provided me with a lot of useful information on how to help control anxiety, as well as identify the root causes of it.
Another method which can help with mental health issues is exercising. From my experience when I haven’t felt good, doing some exercise helps me feel a lot more positive and motivated. Some exercise which I focused on included cycling, running and dance. Remember to have a day off to allow your body to rest and heal if you get injured.
Start a new hobby
I found that as good as social media was for staying in contact with people, sometimes it is good to just put down your phone and have time doing something else such as reading, playing a musical instrument, starting to learn a new language etc..
After lockdown eased
I know a lot of people are worried about returning back to work, university or travelling around Brighton. From my experience when lockdown restrictions eased, I was extremely nervous about going into town or work. However many shops had implemented sanitising stations, limiting the number of customers in a shop and making face masks mandatory. After a while of practising the techniques listed above, I felt less anxious and more relaxed in these situations.
Ensure that you make time for yourself to do things you enjoy, as important as it is to spend time with others, make sure you look after yourself and be kind to yourself.