The coronavirus outbreak is of course impacting on everyone’s daily lives. This also includes individuals’ mental health. The NHS’s ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign has tips and advice for managing one’s mental health, as well as resources and contact points of where to go if a person feels they require more help.
The NHS ‘Every Mind Matters’ link can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/.
Another Government webpage outlines a variety of steps that a person can take to help improve mental health and wellbeing, ranging from: connecting and staying in contact with friends and family, supporting others, looking after your sleep schedule, talking about your worries, and making use of the outdoors through your once-a-day exercise opportunity. Any exercise must be sensibly mandated and follow social distancing guidelines requiring people to be 2-metres apart from others who are not members of your household.
This useful information with regard to managing one’s mental health and wellbeing can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19.
The current situation is also difficult for children and young people. I recognise how frustrating this period of isolation must be for them, and likewise how difficult this can be for parents and carers.
Another NHS site, Change4Life (https://www.nhs.uk/change4life) offers a range of resources to help parents and carers during this lockdown period. From ideas for indoor games and activities to help children and young people get their recommended 60 minutes of exercise a day, to quick and easy healthy treat ideas, Change4Life have something for every family to make lockdown easier and more fun.
The Department for Education have also published a list of recommended online education resources for home schooling, to be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-online-education-resources-for-home-education.
Likewise, BBC Bitesize (https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize) are adding three new online lessons every weekday for each year group; all the way from Year One to Year Ten. Hopefully these resources will make teaching from home, which I recognise is a big undertaking, slightly more manageable.
More information about supporting children and young people during this period of isolation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.
One excellent way to improve one’s mental health, especially during isolation is of course exercise.
The NHS Fitness Studio has a wide-ranging selection of exercise videos for those of all abilities. The Studio has videos on pilates, yoga, strength and resistance alongside access to other free exercise ideas such as ‘Couch to 5k’. These videos allow individuals and families to maintain a fitness routine in the comfort of their own home and without any equipment. They are therefore the perfect way to get some exercise done and get that heart rate up during isolation!
The NHS Fitness Studio can be accessed at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/. Further equipment-free, quick and easy workouts can also be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/move-more/home-workout-videos/.
Even a simple walk outside in the fresh air, in line with social distancing guidelines, is beneficial to mental health. Research shows that physical activity can boost self-esteem, energy levels, mood and sleep quality.