preserving your mental health during lockdown
Due to current circumstances you may be experiencing some changes in your day to day life. As there is a global pandemic many businesses are going to be closed to reduce the infection rate of COVID-19. This means that gyms are closed in many places and you may not be able to go out and socialise with friends or go to bars and clubs. As this is the case you may find yourself cooped up at home with nothing to do. This is enough to drive someone insane and get them feeling down, in this article we are going to be sharing ways you can keep your metal health in check during lockdown.
What is mental health?
Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. This affects how we think, act, and feel and can determine how you handle stress, deal with others, and make choices. There are many things that can cause mental health issues like any kind or trauma, abuse, genetics, and brain chemistry. Similar physical health everyone is different when it comes to mental health and different things work for different people. Having poor mental health can cause you to be tired, feel numb, loss of appetite and it may increase the mount that you smoke or drink. Leaving a mental health issue untreated can develop into something more serious like depression or anxiety.
Your mental health is just like your physical health and should not be neglected. There is always a stigma attached to mental health issues which is why people don’t talk about them much. However, if you believe you are suffering from any issues then speak to someone as this will give you a chance to get your issue off your chest. Not doing this can lead to conditions like depression that affect 264 million people worldwide.
Finding a good hobby
As your going to have a load of free time due to lockdown restrictions, it would be great to take up a hobby or get more involved in something you already love. Having a hobby is likely to reduce your stress levels making you feel happier and more relaxed. As engaging in your hobbies can be challenging due to your busy lifestyle, this would be a great time to dust off the skateboard or fire up the oven for some baking. There is clear evidence and many studies concluding that recreational hobbies improve mental wellbeing but in recent decades the hobbies done by adults have decreased.
There are also many skills that can be learned from hobbies. For example, knitting or enjoying building and riding bikes. These will teach you skills that you will need in everyday life like hoe to be patient and not to give up. As well as keeping you mentally healthy, a good hobby is something that can relieve mental disorders like anxiety and depression. This will make you feel better about yourself and meeting other people with similar hobbies will make you more comfortable around people.
Just because gyms are closed does not mean your fitness as to suffer. There are many home workouts you can be doing to keep you on track to your fitness goals. Although they may not be as effective as lifting weights in the gym, you can still get a good workout that is sure to leave you aching the next day. Seeing your physique waste away is something that can make you unmotivated and can cause you to have low self – esteem. Although your body shape does not matter, and everyone is shaped differently, not having the “perfect body” is something that can cause mental health issues for females and males. This is due to the high standards set by social media and society as they expect everyone to be ripped when in reality everyone is unique, and physique isn’t everything.
There are also many other benefits of doing exercise for mental health. If you suffer from anxiety and depression, then exercising regularly can help you. After a workout, your body releases endorphins that boost your confidence and make you feel better about yourself. Exercising is also known to reduce symptoms of ADHD. This is due to exercise making you focus and having your full attention as your brain increases dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels. In this way regular exercise is as effective as medicine.
Staying in touch with others
Although we are instructed to stay at home and not to have direct contact with other people, there is no harm in staying in touch with others. Modern day has made this so much easier as you can message, call or video call your friends and loved ones. Its only natural to want to see your friends as humans are a social species and enjoy being with others. Interacting with others can also cause your brain to release dopamine and other chemicals and hormones to make you feel good and safe. Social contact is also been found to improve brain function and protect against many neurological diseases. One of the benefits includes improved memory and relieved social anxiety.
Best to check o check your local lockdown laws, but in many areas, you are still allowed to meet with others to exercise. This means that you do not have to leave your gym partner hanging as you can still meet up to get a decent outdoor workout. Just because gyms are not open it doesn’t mean that you can’t still get a good workout, you could try some circuits, sport or just going for a good old-fashioned run. Training with a partner allows you to push yourself harder and your less likely to skip a workout. You can also get creative with your workouts and try things you may have never done before, for example you may be doing more cardio In lockdown than before but this time your cardio is coming from riding a bike rather than a treadmill.
Get good sleep
One of the most important things for your body is sleep. This is responsible for giving you body time to repair and refresh itself to be ready for the next day. Just because you’re at home more than usual it doesn’t mean that you can stay up all night streaming a series or playing your games console till the early hours of the morning. Although this may seem like a good idea, this can have detrimental effects on your mental and physical health and will leave you a miserable and unenergetic mess. Sleep deprivation can be the cause for many different mental disorders like anxiety and psychosis. If you have trouble sleeping, then try mediation or exercising before sleep. There are many steps you can be taking to improve your quality of sleep before consulting a doctor.
As well as contributing to mental disorders, a lack of sleep can also affect your daily performance and physical performance. If your working out without sleep you can be at serious risk of injury, this is due to your muscles not getting the required rest and being able to repair and rebuild themselves stronger. This means you will already be fatigued when doing the workout and at a higher risk of a tear or strain on your muscles and joints. A lack of sleep will also affect your immune system as it will be weaker and less effective at fighting diseases. This means you will be able to catch viruses and infections much more easily and your body will be less effective at fighting it off, which we don’t want with the rising cases of COVID – 19.
In conclusion, during lockdown we are going to suffer a hit to our physical health and mental health as we are stuck at home and are unable to engage in sport or go to gyms. This is why it is important we keep our mental health on track during this lockdown period by following these steps and having fun. Although these times are very stressful and you may be experiencing other issues related to COVID-19 (e.g. job loss), its best not to let it get you down and try your best to get through it. Just remember, everyone is going through a similar thing and things will soon turn back to normal.