Looking after your mental health during lockdown

As we adjust to the new normal of lockdown living, it can take a toll on your mental health, but there are small steps you can take to make things a little easier.

Being in lockdown is without a doubt a challenging time for all of us, especially when it comes to our mental wellbeing. Whilst there aren’t many things we can do but to stay at home, even this can be a place where we can take small steps to look after ourselves.

We’ve put together a list of some resources and tips that we’d like to share with you, so you can take steps to ease a little bit of the stress you may be under right now.

Whatsup App

The WhatsUp app is available to all Portsmouth University students and is a great way to log your moods, keep a journal or anonymously speak to one of the wellbeing staff.  We know speaking up about your mental health may seem daunting, but that’s why there are resources like this one to help you start the conversation and take steps for yourself.

You'll need to use your student ID sign up to the app, but once that is done you'll be able to use it all anonymously. 

Every Mind plan

The NHS offer the Every Mind Matters service to help all of us in isolation look after our mental wellbeing. As part of it, you can take a short quiz which will give you a five-step plan made of tips on how to maintain a better mental state during these challenging times.. They are easy to follow and can help to develop ways to deal with negative thoughts better.

Be wary of news and social media intake

Of course, it is essential for everyone to stay up to date with how the situation is developing. But too much of it can have a negative impact and lead you to feel even more anxious over what could happen. Try to limit your time reading the news or scrolling through social media and try replacing that time with an activity such as talking to friends, reading a book or starting that Netflix show you’ve been meaning to binge.

Keep active

Exercise and different activities are not only good for your physical health but are also known to help reduce stress, get more quality sleep and overall improve your mood. Most importantly there are many forms of exercise such as aerobics, cardio and pilates which you can do from the comfort of your own home and without any special equipment.

Why not give @UOPsport a follow on social media, they're creating work outs that you can easily follow from the comfort of your own home. You don't need any fancy equipment, just a clear space and your screen. 

Plan your days

At a time like this when all we do is stay at home it might seem odd to have a schedule. But this is one of the ways in which we can all keep some sense of normality. You can make a plan for how your day would go and include studying, exercise, talking to friends and family and don’t forget a time for yourself when you can relax and switch off. You can also make to-do lists and see how well you were able to do on them. This can not only bring a sense of achievement but can also help relieve the anxiety associated with uncertainty. 

Break down your work

As we are also coming to the end of the term, with assignment deadlines approaching fast it can definitely seem like there’s not enough time for it all. A helpful way to deal with it better is to break down your work into manageable chunks rather than stressing how much there is to do. This way it will be less overwhelming and less stressful. Remember to take everything one step at a time and to take care of yourself first.

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