9 Steps to Emotional Wellbeing during the Lockdown
More than ever, we need to pay attention and check in to how we are coping during this lockdown. As we enter the third lockdown, we cut short our Christmas celebrations and our contact with friends and family. We can start to feel strange or in ways that are unexplainable, and we are not sure how to fix these emotions. We need to stop and reflect for a moment—Check-in with how we are feeling. Then dig deep and engage in healthy ways that help us cope.
Sometimes we need a reminder that we have the skills and the ability to cope. We can always add more skills to our toolkit. It takes practice to develop new skills, but the first step is making this a priority. There is no better time than now to invest in yourself. Emotional Health is an essential ingredient that will help you get through this pandemic.
In this blog, you will learn nine different ways to practice and improve your emotional wellbeing. Start creating your plan to help you build your emotional resilience to cope with life stressors during a pandemic.
Why is Emotional Health Important?
Emotional health is an essential part of overall health. When we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, we can find it hard to cope. Since the start of this pandemic, we have been under a significant amount of stress and pressure. This level of stress has pushed many people out of their coping comfort zones. All of us must find ways of coping with these changes.
Emotionally healthy people are in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They can cope with life’s challenges. They can keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks. They feel good about themselves and have good relationships. The good thing about emotional health is that you can start now to build those skills towards better management of your emotions.
Right now is the time to start focusing on your Mental and Emotional wellbeing and to create a plan to build on your emotional resilience. Here are nine tips to help you get started:
Put a routine in place
Routines (i.e., getting up at a particular time, eating breakfast, scheduling walks, and healthy bedtime routine) gives a sense of structure and certainty in times of uncertainty. During stressful times, we need to find ways of building systems in our daily life to help maintain emotional wellbeing.
Tip: Everyone has different needs, times, and capacity. When developing your routine, make it workable, achievable, and keep it simple—prioritise physical, nutritional, and self-care activities into your daily routine.
Respond and Not React:
When we have a strong emotional response (i.e., anger, frustration, feeling blamed) towards a situation, we can sometimes react (i.e., shout, get aggressive, blame others) to the situation without thinking about the consequences.
Tip: Give yourself time to think (take a breath or count to 10) and be calm before saying or doing something you might regret.
Acknowledge your feelings
Allow yourself to feel whatever you are experiencing. We are often too quick to rush into denying our emotions and replacing them with statements, “There are others out there worse than me.” If we continuously minimise our feelings, we can deny ourselves the support and time to heal. Emotions are there to let us know how we feel. It is ok to feel sad during this pandemic, and we have all experienced losses such as contact with family, friends, moments, jobs.
Tip: Emotions come and go. They will not last forever
Try and stay in the moment
Practicing mindfulness is scientifically proven to improve mental health and reduce anxiety and stress.
Tip: A simple mindfulness practice is brushing your teeth, focusing on the movement and sensations as you are brushing. This practice aims to help retrain the brain to keep focused on that moment rather than thinking about the future or past.
City Therapy will have a new mindfulness program starting in February. Keep following us on Social Media for more information.
Challenging your thinking
Our thoughts can wander off into unhelpful thinking such as worst-case scenarios (also known as catastrophising). With the Covid-19 numbers increasing and lockdown, our mind can start to focus on all the negative things that can happen.
Tip: Challenging your unhelpful thinking by focusing on real facts and information you have. What information do I know about the situation that is worrying me? For information about Covid-19 go to trusted sources (www.hse.ie) to get your information and not rely on family or friends’ theories or insights.
Limit the time on social media
Limit how much social media/Covid-19 information you are consuming. When we are overloaded with negative information, we can start to feel overwhelmed. Reduce the time you spend on social media/listening to the news/talking about COVID.
Connect to others
Building emotional wellbeing is supported by people you surround yourself with. That is why it is crucial to connect with people who nurture and support you. In times of stress, people are a source of support. Expressing feelings with others is an essential aspect of building emotional wellbeing.
Tip: A problem shared is a problem halved.
Compliment your emotional health with healthy sleep hygiene, physical and nutritional habits
Exercise has been proven to have positive effects on mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Tip: When you are devising your weekly plan- schedule in exercise.
Remember, you do not have to start aiming for a marathon. Make your physical goals achievable and attainable.
Tip: When it comes to food, we can get caught up in work and forget the value of feeding our minds and body. We need to sustain our energy to keep going. When planning your week, think about your food- get excited about the food you eat.
Tip: Sleep hygiene is essential. If we wake up exhausted, then we will find it hard to face the day. Plan early nights. Get 7-8 hours recommended sleep per night.
Seeking Professional Help
It is ok to find things difficult and challenging to process what is going on. If you are struggling with your mental health or want a professional to help you develop emotional wellbeing skills, accessing professional help is the right step. At City Therapy, we have a team of qualified professionals who have many years of experience working with clients who feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and stressed. We can help you, and you are not alone.
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Pieta Phoneline 1800 247 247
It can be hard to start working on your emotional health, particularly during this pandemic. However, it is crucial that you find ways that will help you cope during this time. I hope you find these tips helpful as you start your Emotional Wellbeing plan and to get you thinking of what you need. If you have any comments, feedback regarding this blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To inquire or book an appointment:
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