Mental Wellbeing by Penny Young RMN
During these times, it is important that we look after our mental wellbeing. It can be challenging to manage to attend shifts and ensure that you keep yourself, family and clients safe. Here are 5 top tips to follow to support you and your mental health during this time of social change:
1. Plan your routine
Plan how you’ll spend your time. Try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time as normal, follow your typical morning routines, and go to bed at your usual time. Set alarms to remind you of your new schedule if that helps. If you weren’t happy with your routine before, this might be a good opportunity to do things differently. For example, you could go to bed earlier, spend more time cooking or do other things you didn’t usually have time for previously. Think about how you’ll spend time by yourself at home. For example, plan activities to do on different days or habits you want to start or keep up.
2. Keep in touch digitally
Make plans to video chat with people or groups you’d normally see in person. You can also arrange phone calls or send instant messages or texts. If you’re worried that you might run out of stuff to talk about, make a plan with someone to watch a television show. Netflix now have Netflix party so you can all watch the same film at the same time and chat about it as you are watching, or read a book separately so that you can discuss it when you contact each other. Think of other ways to keep in contact with people while meeting in person is not possible.
3. Physical and mental exercise
Try to complete one form of physical exercise per day, if you are not able to go for a walk there are plenty of online exercise groups you can join. Learn a new hobby, there are a great number of how-to videos on YouTube including knitting, painting, baking to how to grow your own vegetables, something that can be done by yourself or with the whole family.
4. Taking care of news and information
Stay connected with current events but be careful where you get news and health information from. For up-to-date advice in English, see the NHS coronavirus webpage and gov.uk coronavirus webpages. For up-to-date advice in Welsh, see the NHS Wales coronavirus webpage If news stories make you feel anxious or confused, think about switching off or limiting what you look at for a while.
Social media could help you stay in touch with people but might also make you feel anxious if people are sharing news stories or posting about their worries. Consider taking a break or limiting how you use social media. You might decide to view groups or pages but not scroll through timelines or newsfeeds or mute specific accounts
5. Dealing with stress and anxiety
If you are experiencing mild stress or anxiety at present, there are several apps that you may find helpful on Mind.org.uk or rethink.org.
Eating well and regularly drinking fluids will help with your ability to keep mentally alert and ensure that you have a good and restful sleep, as poor sleep can impact on your mental health. You should feel relaxed before you go to bed. Reducing social media at least an hour before you plan to go to sleep and keep the room dark; if you work nights a sleep mask and ear plugs may help you with ensuring a dark and quiet environment is maintained. Avoid caffeine and try a meditation exercise to help you relax. If you find you are waking due to remembering things you have not done or need to complete, write this down on a pad to be kept by your bedside and return to sleep.
Remember it is good to talk and share, speak to a friend or if you are not comfortable with this contact a mental health organisation who can support you or your GP if you are finding it hard to cope.
If you have any questions for the team, or would like to meet with one of us please get in touch: SupervisionAppraisalteam@ukics.com