Protecting Your Mental Health & Taking Control of Your Life During Challenging Times
The Coronavirus crisis is having a huge effect on all of our lives at the moment. Children are off school, workplaces have closed, events are being cancelled, some have to work harder than ever, we have lost the privilege of visiting friends and family, and everyone is worried for what the future holds. In these challenging times the best thing we can do is stay strong, support each other, and keep working towards our goals, even when we feel like giving up.
Increasing Postivity and Taking Control of Your Life
All of us are facing a very different and difficult time at the moment. “You never know what’s around the corner” and I’m sure none of us would have predicted dealing with the devastating effects of COVID-19.
Physical and Mental health is being tested, but never has it been more of a priority than now to look after them both. Many of us would’ve had goals to lose weight, feel fitter and live a happier lifestyle before the pandemic. However, our goals, priorities and behaviors all change as we face new challenges.
Within the Life Transformer Plan and my Personal Training clients, the girls are feeling anxious, comfort eating and worried about how they’ll get through the weeks and months ahead. We must come together, get the strength and support from each other to get through this and keep a positive mindset not letting it affect our weight loss efforts.
Understanding What We Can and Can’t Control
There are so many things outside of our control:
- The Virus
- The Weather
- What other people do
- What other people say
These can easily escalate our feelings of overwhelm, panic and anxiety, but only if we let them. To protect our mental health we must focus on what we can control, rather than what we can’t.
So what can we control in difficult times like these?
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- Our thoughts
- Our actions
- Our habits
- Our routines
- Our mindset
- Our positivity and support to others
How to Increase Positivity and Take Control of Your Life During Challenging Times
I want to share with you the best advice I can give to help you feel stronger, focused and in control over the upcoming weeks of quarantine in our homes.
1) Minimise Your Exposure to the News
All we are seeing on our TV’s and phone news feeds is related to the pandemic. Of course, we want to know about updates, but the more you keep it in the forefront of your mind, the more energy you will waste worrying about things you can’t change, resulting mental draining. There is nothing wrong with keeping up to date with developments, however a balance is needed to protect your mental well-being and stay focused on the things throughout your day that keep you happy and productive.
Schedule your news checks. Check for developments in the morning and early evening. This way you can keep up to date without it affecting your entire day. Also limiting your news consumption frees up time you can be trying new healthy meals, listening to podcasts, reading books, learning a new skill, or spending quality time with your family.
2) Start Your Days with a Morning Routine
Just because we are self isolating and our daily routines have been effected, and I know how tempting it may be, but lie-ins will only negatively affect your mental well-being. Don’t get me wrong, a lie-in is always nice once in a while, but slipping into the habit of lying-in throughout will only make you feel worse. Keeping a morning routine will help you start your day with purpose. It creates a sense of control. If you get up when your alarm goes off without hitting snooze, you have already taken control of the day by achieving your first task. Plan the rest of your morning with things you want to accomplish every morning – get up, make your bed, do a workout or go for a walk, have a shower and feel more energised to take on the day ahead.
3) Enjoy Your Time in Nature
Although we are restricted to only 1 form of exercise outside daily, we should all be taking advantage of this opportunity. Being out in the sunshine, getting fresh air, listening to the waves on the beach and just appreciating being outside in nature and not stuck in your house will assist in looking after your mental health. With this daily opportunity you can simply go for a walk, lace up your trainers and go for a run, or find a bench or open space to do some body weight exercises.
4) Plan Healthy Meals
When we’re not in a routine it can be easy to fall into a ‘grazing’ habit throughout the day. Picking at treats, pouring a glass of wine and having what I refer to as a ‘Holiday Head On’. This is by no means a holiday, far from it, but the only times many of us will be away from work for any extended period of time is when there’s a holiday. With that can come the indulgent habits. The problem this time is, as I write this, we do not know how long this will go on for.
To prevent yourself from ‘grazing’, spend time planning and preparing your meals. You could either meal prep so all of your meals are made in advance, all you have to do is reheat and eat. Or you can simply write down each day what you will eat and at what time. This will give you a clear overview of when your next meal is reducing the temptation to snack in between.
5) Finish Your Day with a Bed Time Routine
Going to bed at a sensible time will be crucial to stay in routine, keep your body happy and ensure you give yourself the best chance to have a good nights sleep. Also, stay away from the news before bed so you don’t get stimulated and anxious about whats going on. Morning and bedtime routines will be vital to help you stay productive and not fall into the trap of late nights, disturbed sleep and going through the upcoming weeks feeling tired and lethargic.
How We Can Get Through These Challenging Times with Support and Togetherness
For many of us, we are creating new routines whilst trying to manage family, care for the vulnerable and keep it all together for ourselves. It is hard, but we can make the upcoming weeks a lot smoother by taking action on things we can control, and worrying less about the things we can’t.
I need support, you need support, we all need support.
Stay in touch
And remember, we’re all in this together. Together we are stronger and we WILL come out the other side better people.
Lets lead, learn and grow through these difficult times. We can handle this just one day at a time.
I’m with you
Contact me at tarahammett.com