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COVID-19: Looking after your mental health

Tom Sweeney

Tom Sweeney | Marketing Assistant

Monday 4th May, 2020

At PayStream, maintaining the welfare of our employees is paramount, particularly in today’s current climate. COVID-19 is impacting all of us in different ways but in this article we look at the importance of maintaining a positive mental attitude and share with you 10 simple things you can do to keep your mental health in check:

  1. Keep active

    Regular exercise is essential for improving mental health, with it being well known that endorphins improve your mood. It can also help to reduce your stress as well as feelings of depression and anxiety. If you’re anxious about leaving the house there are plenty of things you can do indoors. There are an abundance of online classes from Yoga through to HIIT all which you can do from your front room. We recommend ordering a skipping rope if you don’t have one already – skipping is a great way to use all muscles in your body and arguably is better for you than running or walking. It goes without saying that any exercise which you do partake in must follow government advice, which can be found here.

  2. Keep in touch with loved ones

    Maintaining and building healthy relationships with friends and family is also important for mental wellbeing. They know you better than anyone else, so keeping in touch over the phone or via a video call can really help when you’re feeling down. There are lots of great video apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, to mention but a few. You could even reach out to people who you may not have spoken to recently and check how they’re doing. We’re all in the same boat.

  3. Stay hydrated

    Keeping hydrated is imperative for your body to continue to operate in its full capacity. What’s more, along with your heart it’s actually your brain which requires the correct amount of water to help you to think clearly and regulate moods. Under normal circumstances you may find yourself filling up your water bottle 4 or 5 times throughout your working day… think about it, are you still doing this? Try to consume 2 litres of water per day.

  4. Maintain your sleep schedule

    The amount of quality sleep you get makes all the difference to how we feel, function and think. It’s important to get enough sleep but also a good quality sleep which provides you with enough time to replenish. It’s so easy to stay up an extra hour each night, or stay in bed a little longer each morning, but try and keep your normal routine wherever you can. Being well rested is also a great weapon to fight COVID-19. Sleep maintains a strong immune system and cannot be underestimated. Here are a few tips from the NHS to keep you rested.

  5. Do something you’re good at

    We’ve all got that one thing we enjoy doing or that we’re strangely good at. If you’re feeling down make an effort to focus on your favourite hobby, which can be done at home. Maybe now is the time to perfect your baking skills ready for Bake Off 2021?! Enjoying yourself can help beat stress and boost your self-esteem.

  6. Find a new hobby

    Keeping your mind active is a great way to improve your mental health, and what better way to keep your mind occupied than something which benefits you? Is there an online course you’ve been wanting to do but been putting off due to your busy work schedule? Why not try reading a good book? If that’s not your thing maybe you could get into crosswords, jigsaws, Sudoku or drawing?!

  7. Get your daily dose of Vitamin D

    Sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D which helps our brain release chemicals which make us feel good. You only need to be exposed to sunlight for 15 minutes, so if you have a garden or balcony make yourself a drink and take in those rays. Here are a few other simple ways to boost your daily intake.

  8. Eat well

    Nutrients in food are important for keeping your brain healthy and your mind fed. Improving your diet may help to improve your mood, increase your energy as well as helping you think more clearly. Remember - improve your food, improve your mood.

  9. Talk about your feelings

    It sounds simple but talking to a loved one over the phone or in your household about how your feeling can boost your mental health. It’s perfectly normal that you’ll be more concerned, stressed or anxious than normal in the current situation and they are most probably in a similar boat to you. If you cannot speak to anyone at this time, or you have and it hasn’t worked, maybe try one of the many helplines that are available.

  10. Plan practical things

    Planning simple, yet practical things of what you need to do can keep you busy and improve your mental health. It’s a good idea to create a To Do list to keep you on track, that way you can also tick things off! Remember, Social Distancing won’t last for ever, so start planning what you’ll do when the restrictions are eased, give yourself something to look forward to!

Your mental health is now more important than ever so we hope you’ve discovered one or two things in this list which will help you through this difficult time. The government social distancing guidelines are in place for a reason, so please do continue to adhere to them during these challenging times and stay safe.

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