Looking after your mental well-being

It is normal to feel anxious or stressed during these times. Here are some tips on how to stay mentally healthy at home during lockdown.

1. Create a routine.

It’s easy for time to run away from us when we’re not intentional with it, so it’s a good idea to create a daily routine and schedule in key tasks throughout the day. Give every hour a purpose (e.g. work, family time, leisure). Regular bedtimes and waking times set your body clock into a rhythm, making it easier to get to sleep each night. Resist the temptation to stay up late streaming movies and go to bed at the same time each night. Eat at regular times, take time to connect with others. Meditating and exercising can help you to relax and have a positive impact on your thoughts.

2. Eat well.

What we eat affects not only our physical health but also our mental health. Opt for healthier substitutes and create healthier eating habits. Choose a diet high in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains and fish, with smaller portions of lean meat and dairy – and to limit those sugary, salty and processed foods. Start the day with a glass of water with a slice of lemon or a delicious smoothie like the recipe below.

‘Green Celery Juice’
Ingredients:
1 large celery stalk
1 Granny Smith Apple, cored
1 Kiwifruit, peeled.
⅓ cup parsley leaves
1 tbs minced fresh ginger
2 tsp lime juice

Method: Chop all your ingredients and blend into a juice extractor. Stir in lime juice and enjoy. Recipe credit: vegetariantimes.com

3. Stay connected. 

We’re all in this together. Although we can’t socialise with anyone outside our bubble in the usual way, you can still stay in touch by text, social media, phone calls and video calls or just talk to your neighbours over the fence. Get creative and reach out to friends, whanau and workmates  – why not read a book to your niece or grandchild over the phone, catch up for drinks or a meal with friends via a video call.

4. Stay active.

Get active everyday. Even though options are more limited at this time, you can still go out for a walk, run or bike ride in your local neighbourhood. You can kick a ball around in the backyard, catch up on some gardening or jump with the kids on the trampoline. Just 30 minutes of exercise everyday can improve your overall health. Enjoy the experience, appreciate the scenery, feel the wind and be present in your chosen activity. There are also many types of fitness classes available online for free including dance and yoga.

5. Switch off devices.

You may find it useful to limit your time online. Don’t let it consume you. Check social media at specific times once or twice a day. Turn your attention to other useful leisure activities such as indulging in a book or perhaps start writing a book. Pick up a dusty instrument or learn a new instrument, listen to a podcast or just get creative and be present within your bubble. Avoid electronic devices an hour before bedtime to ensure you have a good night’s sleep.

 

For more tips and expert advice on how to look after your mental well-being during lockdown click here.