At Benito we know it’s important that we do everything we can to encourage all to look after ourselves both mentally and physically. This year especially has been a tough one with Covid 19 taking its toll on our mental health after months of living in lockdown separated from family, friends and partners to business closures to losing loved ones. As a result this has had a huge impact on everyone which makes it even more important to prioritise our mental health and wellbeing. We should find time to show our support to others as well as looking after ourselves. Many of us do not feel comfortable talking about our feelings but its healthy to say how you feel, try not to block out the low feelings but instead turn them into something more positive.

 

Be a Better You

How to improve your mental health during the pandemic

  • Stay connected

Don’t isolate yourself from the world reconnect with friends and family regularly, drop them a message or give them a call to keep in touch. Video communications like FaceTime, Zoom and Teams are great for face to face contact. Otherwise you can contact a helpline for emotional support if you don’t feel comfortable talking to family and friends.

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  • Limit social media use

Social media is an addiction which can cause detrimental effects from too much exposure, this dependence is harmful to us socially, physically and mentally. It’s important we separate the real world from our digital worlds, we often get in a harsh cycle of self-comparison, jealousy and unsatisfactory expectations. We should instead try using social media as a reward after completing an important task.

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  • Self-care

Learn something new, take up hobbies or carry on doing activities that you enjoy. You could try reading a book, watching a movie, exercising, cooking new recipes or experiment with relaxation techniques.

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  • Healthy eating

Eat well balanced meals and make sure your drinking the recommended amount of water (1.2 litres). A healthy body creates a healthy mind.

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  • Keep active

Daily exercise is essential, it can relieve stress, help your sleep better and improve your overall mood. If the gyms not for you why not try a live online class at home via Instagram or stick on a fitness YouTube video.

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  • Routine

Create a daily routine that priorities looking after yourself, experiment with setting new goals each day and work to achieve them. This will give your day a sense of purpose which will contribute to a healthy mind.

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  • Relax

Take time to relax, meditate or try yoga this will help us have a clearer and calmer mind aiding positive thinking and concentration.

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  • Sleep

It’s important we recharge our bodies for the next day, try to maintain a regular sleeping pattern and stick to it. This is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. The NHS advise an average person needs between 6-9 hours of sleep each night, they also have tips on how to ensure you get that right amount if your finding it difficult. There are also many apps available such as Calm and Headspace that focus on helping you sleep.

<span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@logannolin?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Logan Nolin</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/bed?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>

  • Go outdoors

When at home open windows when possible to ensure a fresh air supply or sit in your garden and take in the natural surroundings. Remember you can still see six friends and go for a long socially distanced walk in the park, seeing familiar faces will brighten up your day.

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  • Download an app

There are now a range of apps on the market focused on helping individuals cope with anxiety, depression and not being able to sleep.

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Try to do as many of the above as possible and always remember there are people at hand to help you in difficult times no matter how big or small your problem may be.

 

Apps for anxiety and depression

Available on iOS and Android

  • Headspace, free with in-app purchases from £4.17

Headspace has one aim, to improve the health and happiness of the world. The app does this by teaching meditation and mindfulness with guided meditations, animations, articles and videos.

  • ReWi, free

ReWi offers a simple way of creating and tracking goals as well as making you think about how you feel once you have completed it and why that’s important.

  • Calm, free with in-app purchases from £13.49

Calm has a wide selection of uses from meditation to stories that are specifically designed to help you get to sleep.

  • Silver Cloud, free but requires a GP referral

Silver Cloud sees users work through a series of topics picked out by a therapist to address specific needs. The app uses Cognitive Behavioural therapy techniques which lasts eight weeks and is designed to be completed at a pace that works best for you.

  • Feeling Good: Positive Mindset, free with in-app purchases from £2.99

Feeling Good offers audio tracks that blend soothing music with gentle coaching to help with stress, anxiety and depression.

 

Further support and advice

 Samaritans Call: 116 123 | Email: jo@samaritans.org| Visit: https://www.samaritans.org/

Mind Call: 0300 123 3393 | Email: info@mind.org.uk | Visit: https://www.mind.org.uk

Anxiety UK Call: 03444 775 774 | Email: support@anxietyuk.org.uk | Visit: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk

Calm Call: 0800 585858 | Visit: https://www.thecalmzone.net

Benito x

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