It's important to take care of yourself in these difficult times 

For some of us, spending more time at home has had a positive effect, allowing us to spend more quality time with our families, or housemates.

However, staying indoors could lead us to feeling a little stir-crazy, so we’ve come up with some practical ways you can keep entertained and help look after your mental health.

  1. Stay in touch with friends and family virtually

Learn how to use WhatsApp, Facetime or Skype to set up calls so you can physically see your loved ones, as it will help to boost your mood seeing a friendly face. You could also use this time to reconnect with a friend you may have lost touch with over the years.

  1. Think of things to be thankful for

Grab a diary, journal or notebook and make a list of all the things you’re grateful for. Writing it down will help you to feel more positive. They can be little things like having a nice cup of coffee, a warm towel when you come out of the bath or having a delicious home cooked meal – they can all make a difference to your day.

  1. Have a breath of fresh air

If you can’t physically go outside, don’t miss out - grab a chair and sit by the window to feel the breeze or the sunshine. Here you can enjoy reading a good book, listen to the sounds of nature or even do a spot of bird watching.

  1. Take up a hobby

Hobbies are great for mindfulness as they help you to concentrate on something and focus the mind. They also help to stimulate your brain and fill the day with enjoyment. You could try cooking up some new recipes, sewing, painting or reading. Check out our activity bingo for inspiration.

  1. Make a plan for the day

Having structure to the day and week can be helpful for lifting spirits. By having things to look forward to can help to make you feel more positive.

You could do something practical like doing some cleaning, sorting through your wardrobe or taking the dog for a walk. Or try some brain activities like crafts, puzzles, crosswords or sudokus.

  1. Be creative

If before lockdown you loved hosting dinner parties or a games night, why not try to set something up virtually? You could enjoy a meal together with friends and family or play charades on a video call together.

  1. Keep fit and healthy

Ensuring you look after your health is a way of feeling in control during this uncertain time. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and rest, eat fresh, nutritious and healthy foods, and ensure you drink plenty of fluids to help keep yourself in optimum health. Read our blog for more help and activities.

  1. Find some time to relax

Put on an easy listening radio station, play some of your favourite music, or take a relaxing bath and pamper yourself – spending time taking care of yourself can help to make you feel better.

  1. Do something for charity

With some charities struggling to stay afloat during this pandemic, you could try raising money for a charity that needs your support right now. There are many options to do this virtually too, set up a Facebook fundraiser, donate, virtual events and more!

Doing something good for someone else will not only make you feel happier, you’ll feel a sense of achievement that you’ve done something meaningful and helpful for a great cause.

  1. Limit the amount of news you consume

Of course, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest news and advice surrounding changes to lockdown and coronavirus, but too much news can increase your anxiety and stress.

Try setting times in the day where you’ll check the news to find out the information you need to know, perhaps once in the morning and once at night and use the rest of the day to do things you enjoy and make you happy.