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How To Maintain Good Mental Wellbeing During Isolation

Wellbeing is about being able to experience good health, happiness and high life satisfaction, including managing your stress.

It's not always easy to find the right stratefies to establish and maintain your wellbeing. Often the most successful methods are unique to you and ones that can be consistently applied like for instance every week.

Top Tips for All:

1. Mindset & Thoughts
Sometimes we can only see the problems and challenges. Try to take a few moments every day to reflect. Perhaps through writing in a journal or spening five minutes in the morning to notice something we can be thankful for and feel positive about.

2. Keep Physically Active
Studies show that there is approximatly a 20-30% lower risk of depression for adults participating in daily physical activity. Try to follow a series of fitness videos online or if you prefer, go for a walk each day. Even if you can't find time during the week, carve out time at the weekend. Many people find that just the connection with outdoors and being able to walk in an open/green space helps to 'reset' their mind and wellbeing for the day.

3. Positive Thoughts
When your thoughts are overwhelmingly negative, we can find it hard to find headspace to think positively. Try this... imagine you are say on top of a hill and you are looking down at a train track where the trains are coming and going. Now imagine the trains are your thoughts. Watch them come and go but don't get on the train. Just watch the thoughts come and go in your mind without actually following the nagative ones down an unhelpful / negative track. Just watch them pass!

4. Good Quality Sleep
If your mind feels full up or your emotions are overwhelming, you will find it hard to enjoy a good nights sleep. There are lots of free meditation and southing sound videos on youtube (waves, rain, calming music). Or find a podcast which id funno or humorous. Write your thoughts down on a pad or create a 'to do' list. Then put the pad out of sitght until the morning. Deep breathing for at least 3 minutes can also help. In slowly through your nose and out slowly through your mouth.

5. Eat Well
A 2014 Study found high levels of wellbeing were reported by individuals who ate more fruit and vegetables. The key to balancing eating well with busy family life is to plan ahead. If you can plan weekday meals and but the ingredients ahead of time this reduces the number of 'last minute' unhealthy meals.

6. Accepting Help
we must be able to lean on others when necessary. It is unreasonable for us to assume we will never need help throughout our life. This means accepting help which may be volunteered or asking when the need arises. The help could be through a friend, relative, or service you trust, including national helplines.

7. Doing good does you good
There is a strong relationship between wellbeing and compassion. Doing good can help lower stress levels and improve your wellbeing and mental health. However, this can also work the other way and you should always ensure that you are not hleping others a the cost of your own wellbeing.

8. Staying Connected
Higher rates of mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, are associated with loneliness and social isolation. Often socialising with others can feel like a lot of effort in the evening when we're tired. However healthy relationships and connections to others have a significant impact on maintaining good wellbeing. Using video calls, live streaming or 'Facetiming' is a great wy to kwwp in touch with friends and family if you're geeling isolated. If you prefer calling, pick up the phone for a chat. Maintaining good relationships helps to set a good example for children as they notice and imitate the behaviour and emotions of those around them.

For further info check out these online resources:

https://www.nhs.uk

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

https://www.livingwell.org.au

Meet the expert:
This guide has been written by Anna Bateman from the National College.