This month we ran a campaign in support of Aware NI and as we near the end of October, we wanted to take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on the importance of mental wellbeing. At Smart Physiotherapy Belfast, we understand the importance of a full-body approach to wellness and it’s no secret that this year has been challenging on both the body and mind.
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect almost every aspect of our lives, many of us have felt the toll on our mental health. Anxiety and uncertainty about what the future may hold can leave people feeling vulnerable and helpless. Although, the full effect of the pandemic is yet to be known, there are things that we can do to minimise the impact it will have on our mental health throughout the coming winter months.
Distance physically, reach out socially
The current government advice is to refrain from entering the homes of others unless you are on the exemption list. Additionally, pubs, restaurants and other social venues are closed for a period to help slow the spread of the virus. However, that doesn’t mean we need to be shut off from our friends and family. Increasing the frequency of phone calls, Facetime chats and other ways to stay in touch is even more important during times like this. Reaching out to others and checking in on them can help boost someones mood and also helps to maintain a sense of connection.
So next time you have 5 minutes free, why not pick up the phone to someone you haven’t seen in a while.
Structure your time
For many of us, working from home this year has been new experience and has taken some adjustment. Whilst we are fortunate enough to be opened again for treatments, we know not everyone is lucky enough to be able to return to their place of work.
Making sure we keep to a routine is one way that we can keep on top of things. We may be 7 months into the pandemic and restrictions but it’s never too late to set a healthy routine.
It’s the simple things that will make a huge difference to your frame of mind. For example, if you used to dress to go to the office, start doing this again. It helps to separate work time from leisure time. Make sure you have regular breaks and keep to a similar schedule you would if you were in the office or normal workplace. Ensure that you find a balance between routine and making sure each day has some variety.
Limit social media and the news
Ironically, you likely clicked on this blog from our Facebook page and here we are telling you to stay off social media.
Social media overload is something that may intensify feelings of anxiety, especially for those people with pre-existing conditions. Limit reading or watching the news to 15 minutes a day and avoid reading social media posts from people who aren’t experts – you know the type. Take breaks from Instagram and Facebook and mute any group chats that might increase your distress. Seek information for practical steps you can take to prepare yourself and your family and take some you time to recharge and get away from it all.
Exercise and avoid burning out
Over the next few weeks and months, it is still important to keep up exercise. Taking walks, eating healthy and staying hydrated will benefit both your physical and mental health. Find downtime to relax, be creative, watch a funny film.
Home workout videos and meditation apps will help to reduce anxiety and worries however as detailed in our previous blog, ease into any workouts and always check the credentials of any app/online fitness instructor before throwing yourself at a workout.
As always, our doors are opened and we are open for physiotherapy treatments. To find out more about our services, get in touch with our Belfast physiotherapists today.