5 tips to support mental health and wellbeing

Date posted:
Fri 15 May 2020

Lisa Pearson, Regional Head of Marketing for Arriva North talks us through her tips for health and wellbeing:

There is no doubt that the last 6 weeks of lockdown, as a result of the COVID19 crisis, have been nothing short of bizarre for us all.

Everyone has had to adapt to a new way of living AND working (and, for some of us, keeping on top of our children’s education!)

Despite all of this change & upheaval, we’ve made it through an incredibly challenging and stressful time.

As we approach Mental Health Awareness Week, it is worth remembering how resilient we have been – and continue to be - whilst also acknowledging it is okay to not ‘feel okay’ right now.

If you, like me, are having good AND bad days during lockdown then here are 5 tips to help support ‘healthier’ mental health and feeling good (or, better than you did yesterday!)

  1. Fresh Air: As if it was possible to fit more work into our days, I would hazard a guess that many of us currently working from home are in fact BUSIER than pre-COVID, due to nonstop calls, video meetings & emails. This is so overwhelming and exhausting in equal measure. The benefits of taking time out & getting some fresh air (and sunshine!) - even if only for a 10 or 20minute sit outside – will really help to boost your mood and level off the anxiety that can come from continuous work communications!
  2. Keep Talking: Our evenings are full of zoom invites for quizzes, bingo, scavenger hunts around the house and group catch ups. Keeping in touch with our friends and family in this way is wonderful, but sometimes its more helpful to pick up the phone and just ‘talk’ to someone about how we’re feeling, one on one. Know that you’re not alone, even if you feel it and don’t stop talking to people.
  3. Make Space: Whether you are working from home or home schooling (maybe you are trying to manage both), try to set aside defined space in your home for your work (or, the kids work).

During the first few weeks of WFH lockdown and home schooling, my 2 children and I had managed to take over every room, in some small way, to do our work.

Not only was it messy, it also meant there was no break between ‘home’ and ‘work’ (which only led to me feeling massively overwhelmed). We have a better system in place now and have also taken work outside to the garden on these glorious days (see above benefits of fresh air)

4. Exercise: Get moving. We have to get a bit more creative with how we get ‘moving’ during lockdown – but, one of my absolute MUST DO for mental healthiness is exercise. You don’t need to have a home gym to make the most of exercise in lockdown. You can find plenty of yoga routines on YouTube (as well as many live classes being streamed by yoga studios & yoga teachers every week through social media). If downward dog and shavasana aren’t your think, look into low intensity HITT workouts and bodyweight workouts online. Joe Wicks YouTube channel has workouts for every age range and fitness ability, for example. Get your heart rate up and your endorphins flowing for 30 minutes each day and watch your mood lift!

5. A good night’s sleep: Lockdown has led to two very noticeable changes in my normal lifestyle – later nights and more alcohol. I don’t think I am alone in these changes, but I am acutely aware that those two things have not been positive for my sleep. And, poor sleep combined with new lockdown stresses results in anxiety, grumpiness and absolute panic about me getting through the To Do List. So, I am making the conscious effort to revert back to a more healthier evening routine in the week. And it makes a difference. Sleep is a huge power player in feeling good, mentally and physically.

The main thing is, we are all in this situation together and the strength of people & communities continues to shine through.

Staying strong mentally and physically is key to that continuing, as we move through lockdown and into the future.

Keep yourself top of your list, in terms of your health and wellbeing.

Take care, Lisa x