Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during lockdown
A lockdown in response to a pandemic will impact the daily lives of everyone. Protecting your physical and mental wellbeing is essential in helping to keep us safe, and adapting to rapidly changing times.
Each person will have a different response to the situation, and remember it’s okay to have feelings of stress, anxiety and sadness.
If you are experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood, use the NHS mental health and wellbeing advice website for self-assessment, audio guides and practical tools.
Every Mind Matters also provides simple tips and advice to start taking care of your mental health. If you are struggling after several weeks and it continues to affect your daily life, please contact NHS 111 – either online or by phone.
Below are tips for taking care of your mental health and wellbeing during a lockdown. For more advice and guidance visit the government’s guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing.
Connect. Consider how to stay in touch with friends and relatives via telephone calls, video or social media instead of meeting with them in person.
Help and support others. Think about how you can help support those around you.
Voice your worries. Feeling worried, scared or helpless is normal during lockdown circumstances. A lockdown is a difficult time for everyone, so sharing your worries can also help others.
Take care of your physical health. Mental wellbeing has a big impact on how we feel emotionally and physically. Taking decisions to have healthy behavioural patterns will help to manage stress and maintain wellbeing. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise inside where possible and outside once a day, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs.
Get good sleep. Maintaining regular sleeping patterns and keeping good sleep hygiene practices – such as avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment. The NHS Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
Manage difficult feelings. Acknowledging that under lockdown circumstances there may be some things that are out of our control will help to manage anxiety. Focus on things you can control, including where you get information from, and actions to make yourself feel better prepared.
Manage media and information intake. 24-hour news and constant social media updates can make you more worried. If it affects you, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to media coverage.
Focus on the present. Focusing on the present moment, rather than worrying about the future or thinking about the past, can help to manage difficult emotions. Relaxation techniques and breathing exercises can help to reduce anxiety.