Over the past few weeks I have found myself doing the following;
- Grabbing a chocolate digestive every time I am in the kitchen
- Raiding Miss H’s stash of chocolate treats every time I find myself feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling like I can’t be bothered to cook dinner and opting for toast instead
- Checking the BBC App throughout the day as well as last thing at night/first thing in the morning to keep abreast of the latest with the Coronavirus
- Spending time on social media throughout the day. In fact I am too ashamed to disclose the number of screen time hours I have been racking up recently! Whilst scrolling through I have found myself being touched and heartened by the acts of kindness and people’s resilience. Yet I have also been appalled and angered by the pictures of empty shelves in supermarkets, videos of people fighting over toilet roll and videos of NHS workers in tears because there is no food left for them to buy.
How many of these things can you identity with? It was only when I took a step back that I realised I was consuming the very things which are going to make me feel even more anxious and overwhelmed during this time.
Shifting from being on autopilot and making a conscious effort to be mindful with our actions is so important.
You are in control of what you consume. By making some very simple changes, you can ensure you are fuelling yourself with the things which are going to support your mental health, build resilience and enable you to cope with these uncertain times.
- Think about what you are putting in your body – Can you write a meal planner to plan some healthy, balanced meals? Are you managing to drink 8 glasses of water and restricting your intake of alcohol? Evidence also suggests sitting down to eat at a table which is free from distraction means you will be eating in a mindful manner.
- Adopt a balanced approach to news/social media – Whilst it is important to stay informed, it is crucial to ensure it does not take up excess amounts of your day. Perhaps you might like to schedule in some “screen free” times and ensure you are not looking at your phone last thing at night.
- Balance the negative with the positive – There is a lot of bad news out there. As humans it is natural for us to remember the negative things more strongly and in more detail. Making a conscious effort therefore to process the positive things that are happening right now is all the more important. Some people find writing down three positive things at the end of their day can be a helpful way to shift their focus.