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Looking after your mental health during covid19

Let’s talk mental health..

How many of you are feeling the pressure of being at home day after day? Looking at the same four walls, the same people….it can get tedious. It can be stressful. The little things could be starting to really grate on you.

You might feel like you’re stuck in the house. Like you’re boxed in. Like theres no escape…

First of all….STOP!

It’s difficult for some, I know. But you’ve got to change your mindset¬† or you’ll go crazy, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining! We’re in this together for the long haul.

Think about how you can make some small changes to make your life easier. To help ease this situation for yourself and those you live with.

I have a few tips that we are finding useful in our house.

  • First, change your thoughts to have a positive spin. So, you’re not “stuck in the house”, you’re “saving the world”
  • Think about all the times you’ve said “I’d love to redecorate but I don’t have time” or, think of all the little things around the house that need doing/cleaning/fixing. Now is the time! You have it in abundance.
  • Don’t think about the kids as a burden. Take this time to enjoy them. Play games with them. Bake with them. Teach them new skills, like how to change a plug…things they’ll be grateful for in years to come. Use this time with them wisely and you will create the most amazing memories.

Would you prefer to be remembered as “my dad showed me how to cook and make cakes” or “my dad never really spent time with me, he was always on his phone or watching tv”

I know which I’d prefer!

Now, here’s what to do:

  • Before you go to bed tonight, make a list or schedule. Consider some things you would like to accomplish the following day. Don’t make those things unrealistic. Keep it simple and achievable.
  • When you go to bed, set your alarm. Studies show that as human beings we cope better when we have routine and structure in our lives. So set the alarm. You don’t need to be over strict with it, but it’s there to give you structure and stop you staying in bed all day.
  • Get up when you’re alarm goes off. Remember you have a list of things you want to get done today. Make it your mission to accomplish this.
  • Get a good breakfast, clear up after yourself then get to work on your list.
  • If you have kids, set time aside on your schedule for playtime. Naturally they come first, but don’t let it distract you from keeping structure in your day. Include them in your schedule and make it age appropriate. The kids would love to help you plant seeds in the garden or paint a picture..all the time you spend with them, you are modelling behaviours and they are learning loads of new skills and getting to be “just like mammy/daddy”. You are their everything!
  • Take your normal 11am tea break and take a break for lunch before you get back to it!
  • Cross things off your list as you go. If you don’t get through it all in the day, you may have been over ambitious. Move anything you didn’t do onto the next days list, and make the next one shorter.
  • Once you’ve accomplished what you set out to achieve, do something for yourself. What do you love to do? Take that long bath (child permitting..I know how hard that can be…I still can’t pee without a child knocking on the bathroom door and the youngest is 13!!), learn how to knit/draw/bake, go for a run or walk.
  • Once you’ve discovered what you’d like to do, put it into your schedule and make a point of doing it.
  • Make time for some mindfulness. Even 30 seconds of deep breathing exercises can improve your mood, your concentration and your coping mechanisms.

This is a great time now to write a book, take up a new hobby, learn about gardening, learn how to cook or bake, experiment, learn music, etc, etc….

Theres no better time, especially in this technology age where everything you need to know is available at your fingertips. And delivery services with online shopping is so vast and readily accessible.

Before you go to bed, write your next list…

If your significant other is driving you mad, consider two separate lists and arrange to meet back in the kitchen for your breaks. It’s just as important to spend quality time with them too. Then sit with them in the evening and chat or watch a comedy show together.

Remember why you love them and why you are together. It will help you forget about what’s bothering you about them. And if you fight, ask yourself “does he/she love me?” before you react. Then remember that sometimes you hurt each other. But if you love each other, it’s not intended. Forgive easily and you will love forever.

Bottom line: Create your routine. Keep your structure. Be mindful. Remember, the people you live with love you. Think positively,  and your mental health will improve. You will get through this. We all will.

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