As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds across the world, many of us are experiencing more negative emotions than we otherwise would. You may be wondering, How can I maintain my wellbeing during a time of crisis? Here’s our guide to keeping your spirits up.
We’re living through a very troubling period. For the first time since the Office For National Statistics started measuring the attitudes of the UK population, our life satisfaction levels have fallen significantly. Meanwhile, negative feelings remain high, with over 10 million people reporting anxiety, and concerns about the general economic outlook have reached their highest level since 2011.
Did you know? Looking after your wellbeing can add years to your life, as well as improve your ability to recover from illnesses and positively affect the mental health of those around you.
Even before the COVID-19 crisis developed, the statistics were not promising. But now, more than ever, we need to be looking after our wellbeing – both physical and mental. Doing so can not only add years to your life, but also improve your ability to recover from illnesses and positively affect the mental health of those around you.
So, here are our 20 questions you should ask yourself as you navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
1. Am I eating healthily?
We’ll start with the basics. These first three tips are vital, and should be the first things you concentrate on if you want to improve your wellbeing. Make sure you’re getting your five a day and only drinking in moderation.
2. Am I exercising regularly?
If you don’t have a garden or live near green spaces, it can be difficult to get your daily exercise. But there are plenty of activities you can do in your sitting room. Look online for workout tutorials or yoga sessions, for example – many can be completed in confined places.
3. Am I getting enough sleep?
Many of us are enjoying a lie-in now we’ve cut out the daily commute. But it can also be tempting to stay up later when you know you’ve got extra time in the morning. To maintain your wellbeing, try to stick to your normal routine and get at least eight hours of sleep per night.
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4. Am I keeping in regular contact with loved ones?
Again, this is more difficult amid the COVID-19 crisis, but it’s imperative if you want to give yourself the best chance of avoiding ill health. Take the time to sit and chat with those in your household and video call friends and relatives further away. Platforms like Houseparty allow their users to play games, which can be a fantastic distraction if you’re feeling down.
5. Am I expressing all my emotions?
Negative feelings can build up if you don’t discuss them with others. If you’re worried about the coronavirus or your partner does something to upset you, for example, make sure you discuss your thoughts. This way, it’s more likely you’ll find solutions.
6. Am I living and working productively?
When you’re feeling down, one of the best things you can do is keep busy. Doing household chores and ticking off those ‘to do’ list tasks will give you something to focus on – and you’ll feel a sense of achievement once you’ve completed them.
7. What is affecting my wellbeing?
When you want to resolve your concerns, you’ll need to work out what exactly is negatively affecting your wellbeing. Many of us are worried about contracting coronavirus, but you may also be suffering as a result of a bereavement, loneliness, relationship issues or money trouble. Once you’ve categorised your concerns, you can take steps to getting rid of them.
8. Am I thinking rationally?
Sometimes, circular thoughts lead us into a downward spiral from which we just can’t seem to escape. If you’re in a state of panic or anxiety, ask yourself: “Am I thinking rationally?” Is the outcome I’m worrying about very likely to happen? Try to rationalise the situation – if you’re unable to justify your negative thoughts, you can try to remove them.
9. Am I making time for myself?
If you’re part of a crowded household, you may find it tricky to have time to yourself. But spending just a few minutes a day on your own can boost your wellbeing. According to mindfulness app Headspace, just 15 minutes of meditation per day can reduce “mind wandering” by 22 percent. And using the platform for a month can improve focus by 14 percent.
10. Have I told my family how they can help me?
Your loved ones can support you if you give them the right information. Take the time to identify your ‘triggers’. For example, if you find rolling news on the television particularly stress-inducing, let your family know; they may opt to look at the headlines on their phones instead. Also, tell them how to help you when you’re down – do you enjoy a chat with your partner, or would a quick hug help?
11. What am I grateful for?
Noting down the good elements of your day can help you increase your positivity. Before bed, write out three things you enjoyed or three things you’re grateful for – even if they’re as simple as watching your favourite television show or cooking a nice meal.
12. How can I reduce stress?
This is something we should all be thinking about, whether we’re in crisis or not. Reducing your stress levels has huge benefits for all areas of your life, so think about how you can achieve this. Perhaps it’s planning your meals in advance, procrastinating less or spending more time with pets.
13. Can I take up a hobby?
At the moment, the majority of us are confined to the house, so it’s a great time to try something new. Pick something you’re passionate about and develop your skill every day. Your goal could be anything from mastering a recipe to learning a new language – the choice is yours. When you look back, you’ll be pleased with your progress and satisfied you spent your time productively.
14. Is there a group I could join?
As the COVID-19 crisis has developed, community groups have sprung up across the UK. There’s no better time to get involved than now, so consider volunteering or simply getting in touch with locals. Chances are, you’ll boost your mood as you help others.
15. How can I get closer to nature?
This is one of the best self-care tips out there. When we’re feeling stressed or anxious, getting back to nature can really help. Breathe in the fresh air and take the time to notice small details in your local park or green space. This should help you get away from negative thoughts and feelings.
16. Can I reduce my social media screen time?
Although social media has been a helpful communication tool for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can also be detrimental to our mental wellbeing. If you need to switch off, set clear boundaries for yourself. For example, only allow yourself to visit your favourite apps in your lunchbreak, and close them for the day when you start work again.
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17. What makes me laugh?
As they say, laughter is the best medicine. So, find the things that make you laugh and hold them close. If a particular friend is guaranteed to get you chuckling, suggest video calling regularly. If you have a favourite television programme or podcast, make time for it every day. It’s a simple trick, but it should lift your spirits.
18. Can I start the day with something I love?
If you dread getting up and getting ready for work or preparing to spend another day inside, why not make your morning more enjoyable? Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier and spend the time doing something you can look forward to. This could be making a delicious breakfast, following a YouTube tutorial or playing with your dog.
19. Can I make time for a daily activity that brings me joy?
It’s a good idea to do fun activities every now and then, but you should really make sure you schedule time for them every single day. This can be tough, particularly if you work long hours or live in a busy household. But try to set aside a few moments daily to indulge in your chosen hobby. Reading, meditating and walking in the countryside are all great ways to keep your happiness levels topped up.
20. How can I allow myself little treats?
Sometimes, we have to do tasks we don’t enjoy. If it’s time to clean the house or make the stressful trip to the supermarket for supplies, why not promise yourself a treat once the job’s done? The prospect of taking a relaxing bubble bath, browsing online shops or indulging in your favourite dessert, for example, should make your chores go by much quicker.
Continue your journey
How can I maintain my wellbeing? That’s the question on many people’s lips, but hopefully we’ve given you self-care and stress management tips you can use to improve your mental health.
This article has looked at how to deal with stress, but we have a wide range of other resources exploring how to deal with an economic crisis as an entrepreneur. You’ll find our other helpful COVID-19 content below.
- 12 Tips to Help Your Business Survive the Covid-19 Crisis
- Here's Everything the UK Government Is Doing to Support Businesses Through the Covid-19 Crisis
- How the Covid-19 Crisis Will Forever Change the Way We Live and Work
- 15 Tips for Staying Positive and Being Supportive During the Covid-19 Crisis
- Staying Connected with Customers Is Critical During the Covid-19 Crisis
- The Latest Tech Trends Innovating Home-Based Businesses
- How the Covid-19 Crisis Makes Online Advertising More Important Than Ever
- 9 Business Strategies to Help Your Business Make A Comeback After The Covid-19 Crisis
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©