At the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, we ran a seven-day social media campaign around mental health and how to cope with the lockdown. We thought it would be useful to share this again now as it is Mental Health Awareness Week.
The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness and is being hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, with the support of Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA), Mind, Samaritans, Re-think Mental Health, NHS, and others.
Take a look at our tips and advice for getting through the lockdown – and of course, these tips can be applied to life in general too.
If you are an RuTC student and you are struggling with your mental health don’t forget you can speak to your tutor if you need to and you can find support services in the Wellbeing Support Services document.
#1 STAY CONNECTED
Keep in touch with people. Whether it's a video chat, a phone call, a message or an email. It's important that we all keep communicating and stay positive - we are all in this together!
You can find out more about taking care of your mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus on the Mind website.
#2 PLAN A DAILY ROUTINE
It can be easy to fall into bad habits when your daily structure changes like this. It's important to keep some of your daily routines: get up, get washed, get dressed.
Break your day up with study/work, exercise and things you enjoy. It can be difficult to focus on study/work, so break this up and set yourself targets and rewards for when you complete your tasks.
Here's an example of how you could plan your day:
- Get up, washed, dressed and have breakfast
- Go for a walk/do some yoga/do some stretches
- Do some study/work
- Have a break and reward yourself with something you enjoy doing
- Have lunch
- Do some more work
- Have another break and reward yourself by chatting to a friend
- Have Dinner
- Chill out
It's important that you try and get outside when you can and keep active! Find out more tips and advice on the Mind website.
#3 KEEP ACTIVE
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Most of us don’t have the luxury of a home gym, but there are things that most of us can do which will keep you active, such as:
- Cleaning you bedroom/home
- Dancing to music
- Going up and down stairs
- Seated exercises
- Online exercise workouts that you can follow - like Joe Wicks
- Sitting less – if you’ve been sitting down for a while, just getting up or changing position can help.
Government guidelines say that you can leave your home once a day for exercise. For those who do not have gardens, this is quite important. If you can go for a walk or a run in nature this is not only good exercise but it is good for your mental health too. Sunshine will give you some much needed vitamin D and will make you feel happier. Find more advice on the Mind website.
#4 KEEP YOUR MIND STIMULATED
Challenge your brain daily. Set aside time in your routine to read books and magazines, listen to podcasts and music, watch films and do puzzles.
There are plenty of apps that you can download that can help with this, plus you can access e-books from Moodle.
This could also be your perfect opportunity to learn something new and YouTube has thousands of videos that can help you start a new hobby from scratch! Find more advice on the Mind website.
#5 FIND WAYS TO RELAX
Making sure you relax is always important and there are lots of different ways that you can do this, such as:
- Arts and crafts - drawing, painting, sewing, craft kits or upcycling
- Playing musical instruments, singing or listening to music
- Spending some time in nature - in the garden or during your daily exercise
Also make sure that you take a break from social media and the news as this can have the opposite effect. Find more advice on the Mind website.
#6 LIMIT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA USE
It can be easy to turn to social media when things are unsettled and you are bored, but it is important that you take breaks from social media as well as the news as this can have a negative effect.
Be mindful of fake news:
- Vet the publisher’s credibility
- Pay attention to quality and timeliness
- Check the sources and citations
- Ask the pros - use a fact checking website if you need to
Take a look at some of our previous tips and try something new and exciting to do instead! - you can always do some additional course work! Find more advice on the Mind website.
#7 BE KIND
Everyone is feeling something different right now, so be kind and considerate. Just remember that behind every computer is a person and every person has feelings.
If someone has a different opinion/idea/feeling to you, that is fine. It's what makes us individuals.
Also think about your family, friends and your local community. Reach out to people that may need help and look out for the elderly and vulnerable.
If you are looking for things to keep you active and would like to help your local community, look for Facebook groups that are actively helping your local community and get involved! Find more advice on the Mind website.