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Looking after your mental health while you’re self-isolating

We’re living in extraordinary times. World events can sometimes leave us feeling powerless and you may be worrying about yourself or your loved ones. With all the uncertainty around, it’s normal to feel anxious. So what can we do to look after ourselves and stay positive?

Stay connected

Talking to other people is vital to our wellbeing. As well as sharing your own concerns, being there for them can also help you build feelings of belonging and self-worth.

Top tip: phone someone different each day to have a chat. Use the time to catch up with relatives or friends. Sometimes it can help to have a real conversation, rather than texting.

Keep active

Even if you can’t go outside, it’s important to take regular exercise. If you have online access, try finding free activities to keep you fit. Try online yoga or other gentle activities but don’t overdo it.

Top tip: always talk to your GP first if you have any health worries.

Learn something new

Try a new craft, such as origami or crochet. Try writing a blog or learning to paint. Or pick up that book you’ve always meant to read, but not ever quite got round to. If you want something a bit more long-term, look online for educational courses.

Top tip: don’t give up too easily. It can take time to learn a new skill.

Help other people

being kind and giving up your time can improve your mental health. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Just picking up the phone to talk to someone you know is lonely or writing a cheerful letter or card can be a start.

Top tip: try suggesting the ‘6x’ telephone tree to some friends. The idea is that you call a different person each day for six days, and they do the same for six other people who might appreciate it.

Practise meditation

Be kind to yourself and give your mind some space. There are several online apps to help you get started. While you’re going through the day, try to concentrate on living ‘in the moment’ (mindfulness) rather than focusing on the ‘bigger picture’.

Top tip: studies have shown that regular meditation can alter the way we think, helping to create a more positive attitude.

Catch up on rest

In our busy working lives, it’s easy to miss out on sleep and relaxation. We can be tough on ourselves, packing a massive amount into each day. Being based at home can be a great opportunity to have a break and take life a little easier for a change.

Top tip: try having a power nap each day.

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