Thursday, 23 April 2020

LEAPS TOP THREE TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH THE LOCKDOWN BY AIMEE WILSON, CHAIR OF LEAPS



Sadly, since the lockdown, LEAPS have been unable to facilitate group meetings every Friday, but we’ve been staying connected with the world through our Social Media Manager on our Twitter (which you can follow here) feed! We’d actually like to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to our Social Media Manager for massively increasing our following and therefore allowing us to reach – and hopefully help – more people to manage their mental and physical health whilst unwaged.

The lockdown is having a huge impact on the mental health of a lot of people because the guidelines are so isolating and are leaving many people feeling lonely and afraid of these times that are filled with so much uncertainty. With this in mind, LEAPS would like to give you all three tips on how to cope if your mental health is struggling through the lockdown procedures and the coronavirus pandemic:



1.     Stay in contact with friends and family

Remaining connected with people is so essential at a time when ‘social distancing’ and ‘isolation’ are becoming the new buzz words! The advantages of today’s technology mean there are so many ways to keep in touch with friends and family; video chats, tweets, calls, texts, gifs… The amount of social media platforms and their functions is literally endless right now! For all the criticism that hashtags get, the lockdown has really illustrated just how powerful they are at bringing different people who have a common interest, together. Finding that there’s someone on the other side of the world who has the same opinion as you on a topic that matters a lot to you, can be so reassuring and comforting. The reminder that you aren’t alone in something is much-needed, especially at the moment!

Staying in touch with friends and family can also be helpful in finding inspiration from them on ways to be coping with the lockdown or activities you could be doing that are still in-keeping with lockdown protocol of course!




2.     Distract

Keeping busy is a good means of distracting from the negative but factual news in the media of the death tolls rising and the government floundering… It’s such a good coping strategy because it can be adapted into so many different forms depending on what the individual finds beneficial; for some, it might mean drawing, for another it could be reading a book or playing a computer game.

It’s important not to cross the line between distraction and avoidance though, make sure you aren’t putting all your attentions onto your computer in order to avoid getting current information on the lockdown and coronavirus procedures. It’s essential that you get a healthy balance of both. And remember, it’s no great shame to say that you wanted a bit of escapism for a little while, this virus and the lockdown is affecting people in huge ways and you don’t have to be thinking about that 24/7 in order to be a worthwhile members of society!



3.     Take time out to self-soothe

It’s so important for your mental and physical wellbeing that you take the time to look after yourself and do something nice for yourself. Again, this can mean different things to different people; I tend to go for beauty treatments and I’ll do my nails or makeup (even though I’m not going anywhere) but for others it could mean just having a shower or a bath, eating something you like, or listening to soothing music.

This coping strategy is important because it’s good to acknowledge that your body deserves to be looked after and that you are worthy of something pleasant.

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