Hazelhill, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo.

Managing your mental health during Lockdown

As lockdown continues, and some begin to find it grinding, there are key learnings from the first time around that we can put into practise now. This different rhythm of life challenges us all and keeping healthy in mind and body is more important now than ever before.

Here, Hazelhill Family Practice sets out some pointers on how to manage your wellbeing during these difficult times.

It’s normal to feel stressed

The pandemic has affected all of us in a number of ways and it’s completely normal, and expected even, to experience increased anxiety, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. You might find yourself checking for symptoms, you may notice that you have trouble sleeping or you may experience a feeling of helplessness. We can try to alleviate these feelings with the following tips:

Stay in contact

Many of us are unable to visit loved ones and this can cause feelings of loneliness and isolation.  At times of stress, company and support can make all the difference. Make an extra effort to reach out and stay connected because it will benefit you and the person you are reaching out to.

Set limits on news and social media

There is a constant stream of updates relating to Covid-19 and, while useful in some measure, the non-stop flow of information and statistics can provoke worry and anxiety. Ensure that you get your news from a trustworthy source and do not rely on social media for advice and guidance.

Keep to a healthy routine

While our daily routines have been disrupted by the lockdown, try to adhere to your healthy habits and exercise regularly. Eat a balanced diet. Avoid excess alcohol. Keep to your sleeping routine as much as possible.

Maybe take this opportunity to start a new ritual – it could be taking up a new hobby or revisiting an old one. It could be as simple as taking a stroll around the block at the same time every day.

Working from home

If you are working from home, try to stick to a typical work day routine. For example wash and dress, drop children off to creche/school, start work and finish work at the same time each day. Also take regular breaks from the computer screen to ease the strain on your eyes and to stretch your legs.

Wider health needs

Make sure to look after all of your health needs. This time of year necessitates booking yourself in for a flu vaccine. Also ensure that your prescription medication is accessible.

Online & phone mental health supports

There are a number of mental health supports available. See here for HSE-supplied list – https://www2.hse.ie/services/mental-health-supports-and-services-during-coronavirus/mental-health-supports-and-services-during-coronavirus.html

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