Focussing on your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax indoors should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and feelings and can boost your mood.
Do something you enjoy We are all unique and enjoy different things. You may not have found the thing that you enjoy yet, so try some different things out. You may have lost touch with activities that have given you pleasure in the past. Doing things you enjoy can help you to stay connected with some more positive aspects of life.
Some people like to read, to learn about the world, or escape into other worlds. Some people like to express their feelings through art, some like talking things through with others. Whatever your style, make sure you do express yourself – it will help you to stay connected, to discover more about you, your identity, and the person that you want to become.
Get outside or bring nature in: Spending time in green spaces can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. Sit in your garden if you can, open windows to let in fresh air or look at a nice view or some photos. Remember that social distancing guidelines enable you to go outside to exercise once a day as long as you keep 2 metres apart from others who are not members of your household group.
When you are feeling immersed in a problem, let yourself switch off from it and go and do something completely different. When you return to it at a different time it may seem more manageable. Distracting yourself is not a cop-out, but can be a reliable way to stop overthinking a problem when you are feeling stuck. So, how do you distract yourself? Listen to soothing music. Cuddle with pets. Eat your favorite snack or have a cup of tea. Take a long walk. Exercise.
Stay calm, be wise, be kind. Let’s take action to look after ourselves and each other as we face this global crisis. We may be physically apart, but we can still be together. Learn more or download the app at actionforhappiness.org
Take time each week to think of small actions you can take to create happiness for yourself and those around you. Action For Happiness provides scientific background, practical strategies, and opportunities for people to take action.
We all have them, and none of us is perfect either. It can be easy to think that others are more talented, more successful, have more opportunity than us, when you are feeling low in mood. But it is impossible to know how someone else is feeling inside, whatever they seem like on the surface. Remind yourself about the things you do well, and looking for evidence of this can help to balance out critical thoughts about yourself, which tend to increase when we are stressed.
The brain handles positive and negative information in different hemispheres,” said Professor Nass, who co-authored “The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships” (Penguin 2010). Negative emotions generally involve more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones, he said. Thus, we tend to ruminate more about unpleasant events — and use stronger words to describe them — than happy ones.
Some of us may be struggling to get some ZZZs with all those negative thoughts swirling around our brains, but getting good sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health. When your mood is wearing down, so is your immunity, and one of the most valuable things your body needs is to simply rest. It’s during the state of rest that your white blood cells work their magic, so take a load off and get in that nap or go to bed earlier every night.
Think of sleep as banked power to improve your mood, reduce irritability and improve your ability to cope with stress. To do this, it is advisable to set up a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as having a bath or reading a book, using blackout curtains to block out the light, and going screen-free for 30 minutes to an hour before you get into bed.
You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or those close to you. It’s important to remember that it’s OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. Remember, for most of us, these feelings will pass.
Staying at home may be difficult, but you’re helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.The tips and advice here are things you can do now to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel if you’re staying at home. Make sure you get further support if you feel you need it.