There’s no doubt that the current situation we’re facing is causing us all to feel a certain amount of stress and even anxiety This isn’t something we’ve faced before, so it’s completely understandable to feel several different emotions. That said, there are lots of things you can do – to look after your mental health and well-being during these changeable times:

1. Take five and breathe – Practising deep breathing exercises are proven to help when we’re stressed. You don’t have to be spiritual to try mindfulness and meditation. If you’re new to meditation, there are many great apps out there like ,Headspace and ,Calm to get you started.

2. Routine – Although you may not be going in to work, it’s still important to have a routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating healthily, getting enough rest, prioritising sleeo and doing exercise in line with Government guidelines.

3. Keep connected – Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important for our mental well-being. Whether over the phone, via messaging, email or video calls, talking to others can help you develop a balanced view of the situation and make you both feel better.

4. Just get the facts – Limit worry, by reducing the time you and your family spend watching or listening to media coverage – as this can feel overwhelming. Try to rely on trusted sources only, we recommend watching the daily Government briefings at 5pm, so you know the latest advice, but then switch off and do something you enjoy after.

5. Tune out – Get lost in something you enjoy – whether that’s watching a series/film, reading a good book, listening to a podcast/music, DIY or learning something new. Tuning into something else gives your mind a chance to rest.

6. Do something that makes you sweat – We might not be able to get to the gym, but that doesn’t mean we can’t exercise. Exercise releases endorphins in your body, giving you a natural high – there are lots of workouts online that the kids can get involved with too – any exercise will help!

7. Focus on the little things – In changeable times it’s important to focus on the little things that make you feel happy. Each day take time to reflect and pick out the three things you are grateful for that day, this will help you feel in the moment and focus on the positives.

8. Be kind to yourself and each other – We’re probably not used to spending so much time together, cooped up in our homes. Remember we will all have good days and bad days or just need our own space from time to time.

9. Keep your mind active – Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting. You can also learn something new. There are lots of YouTube videos or sites like ,Udemy where you can learn new skills. Find something that works for you.

10.Be aware of your emotions (feelings) – Our thoughts influence our feelings and affect how we behave. It’s good to acknowledge that some things are outside our control right now. Make a list of everything that is worrying you. Review the list – try not to worry about what you can’t change but put your efforts into what you can control or change.

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