As we head deeper into winter, SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder - that depression that happens during the cold, gloomy days - can make pandemic stress even tougher. So here are some tips to help you with your Mental Health for this period.
Tips to guard your mental health:
Notice your feelings and be kind to yourself up about them
Find something to laugh about every day
Go outside and exercise - sunlight is excellent for SAd and exercise for depression!
Keep your relationships by connecting by phone or video call - see people "virtually"
Reach out for help when you need it.
The number one tip is to pay attention to your feelings and give yourself a break. Acknowledge the feeling, and find someone you can talk to about it, That might be someone you trust, a mental health care professional, or a faith leader in your faith community.
Number two, find a reason to laugh every day. Laughter is good medicine mentally and physically,
Exercise is extremely important. It builds endorphins that help us deal with stress, overcome boredom, overcome loneliness, and getting outside you get vitamin D which is helpful as well.
Find ways to remain connected and maintain relationships, It might mean, for example, setting up a virtual game night where you all get together via Zoom or cooking a meal together in two separate houses while on the phone together, or just having a frank conversation online with a trusted friend.
Number five, if it becomes too much, reach out for help. There are crisis lines you can call such as:
Samaritans 116 123
Mind 0300 123 3393
St Barnabas (01603) 625222
It is absolutely normal to feel low at times like these so please do look after your Mental health and reach for help if you feel you need to. There is no shame in it, especially during a pandemic like this!