For months we've heard advice about managing our physical health during the pandemic, but what about our mental health?
Cardiff and Vale Wellbeing have given us their advice on looking after your mental health at this difficult time.
1. Plan your day
Adjusting to a new way of life can be challenging for our mental health, we need routine to secure our identity, confidence and purpose.
Keep to a regular routine, write a physical plan of your day on a poster and stick to it. Start at the same time with breaks evenly spread to coincide with a chronological milestone like the news or your favourite radio show.
Connect with your family, friends and neighbours in person if you can social distance safely or by video call.
2. Improve your sleep
Feelings of helplessness and uncertainty can cause psychological trouble which could affect your sleep. The sleep hormone Melatonin is produced on a day/night cycle and adhering to this will help your sleep.
Keeping a routine with your sleep is a good idea, so go to bed and get up at the same time. Oversleeping can cause what is called social jetlag and your body responds better to regular timings.
Take a nap in the day if you need it, but no more than 45 minutes and this should be around lunchtime.
3. Exercise more everyday
Exercise reduces stress and helps us produce hormones called Endorphins. These interact with the receptors in our brain that reduce our perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body.
Naturally increasing energy levels in our body can make us more alert and help us sleep better.
Look for an exercise adapted to your needs and metabolism: walk, run or stretch.
4. Try a relaxation technique
Relaxing and focusing on the present moment can help us improve our mental health and put negative feelings at bay.
Being mindful is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. Being kind to oneself.
Whilst walking, find a focal point and admire its beauty, pause and capture it in your mind, attach positive feelings to it and return to this positive thought when you need it.
Music is a powerful tool to help you relax and take in the moment.
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