As the days go by and we are faced with uncertainty, residents are on lockdown in their homes and keyworkers are continuing their day-to-day jobs in order to ensure vital services can continue to protect the residents of the East Riding.
As residents endure another week of living behind the same four walls, tempers may be high, patience frayed and moods low.
Meanwhile, many staff are working long and tiring shifts, including those from the care sector and it’s important that they – as well as everyone else – look after their mental health.
There are so many ways that a lockdown during a pandemic can be damaging to a person’s mental health and with varied roles and shift patterns for keyworkers in the community at the moment, it might be hard for them to take time out to look after themselves.
Here is a list of helpful suggestions that might offer some support to all residents staying at home, as well as social workers, care staff and other key workers in the East Riding:
Consider how to connect with others
Maintaining relationships is important for your mental wellbeing. Communicate with friends and family via telephone, video calls or social media.
Help and support others
Could you contact a friend or family member nearby? Are there community groups you could join to support others locally? Remember it’s important to do this in line with current guidance to keep everyone safe.
Talk about your worries
It is quite common to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember this is a difficult time for everyone and sharing how you’re feeling and the things you are doing to cope with family and friends can help them too.
Look after your physical wellbeing
It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour. Try eating healthy, drinking water, exercising inside where possible and outside once a day and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs.
Look after your sleep
Feeling anxious or worried can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Good quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically, so it’s important to get enough.
Try to manage difficult feelings
Some people may experience intense anxiety that becomes a problem. Try to focus on things you can control, like where you get information from actions to make yourself feel better prepared.
Manage your media and information intake
24-hour news and constant social media updates can make you more worried. It may help to only check the news at set times or limiting to a couple of checks per day.
Get the facts
Gather high-quality information that will help you accurately determine your own or other people’s risk of contracting COVID-19 so that you can take reasonable precautions. Find a credible source, such as GOV.UK or NHS.UK
Think about your new daily routine
Think about how you can create new routines – try to engage in useful activities (such as cleaning, cooking or exercise) or meaningful activities (such as reading or calling a friend).
Do things you enjoy
When you’re feeling anxious or low, you may do things that you usually enjoy, less often. Focusing on your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking some time to relax should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and an boost your mood.
Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose – think about things you want or need to do that you can still do at home. It could be watching a film, reading a book or learning something online.
Keep your mind active
Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting. Find something that works for you to keep your mind active.
Take time to relax and focus on the present
This can help with difficult emotions, worries about the future and can improve wellbeing. Relaxation techniques can also help some people to deal with feelings of anxiety.
Get outside or bring nature indoors
Spending time in green spaces can benefit your mental and physical wellbeing. If you can’t go outside, spend time with the windows open (where safe to do so) to let in fresh air or arrange space to sit with a nice view.
John Skidmore, director of adults, health and customer services, said:
“If you or someone you know is struggling to keep up with work and look after themselves mentally, socially or physically, there is support available.
“Staff working in the care sector are doing a fantastic job and it’s because of them that our loved ones are being looked after during these unprecedented times.
“It’s important that people take time out for themselves and whilst it isn’t always easy in such challenging times, I believe that the good people of the East Riding will rally round and give each other the praise they deserve.”
For more information and support about how to improve your mental health, visit happyandwell.me
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