As lockdown is easing, shops begin to reopen, children are gradually returning to school, and society is adjusting to what has been labelled the ‘new normal’. For many, it may be a huge sigh of relief and for some it may bring on anxiety, as you wonder what life will be like post lockdown. whatever you may be feeling, it is important to make your mental health and wellbeing a top priority. In this post, we will be sharing with you some special, practical advice on how you can implement good mental health and wellbeing practices post lockdown.
As lockdown eases, you may be returning to work or perhaps getting out and about a bit more. It is important that you reflect on how this time in lockdown has been for you, and your wellbeing. Reflecting will help you process your emotions and guide you in what areas to focus on in your mental health. We have listed some questions below to aid your reflection. We encourage you to go through these and add any of your own questions that come to mind.
Tip: Get creative! Reflection is a great time to explore your emotions through art, dance, music and even drama. You could draw a picture on how you are feeling, express your emotions through dance and physical movement or sing a song. Whatever comes to mind, go with it. You do not need to overthink this but be free and attune with yourself.
Questions for Reflection on Your Mental Health in Lockdown
- Have you enjoyed lockdown so far? If so, why? If not, why not?
- What have you missed most during lockdown? (this could be your family, friends, a particular place, shopping etc… or whatever comes to mind)
- What are you most looking forward to post lockdown?
- How would you describe your mental health and wellbeing during lockdown?
- Are you feeling anxious about anything post lockdown?
- Can you think of any ways to improve your mental health and wellbeing?
Now that you have reflected, we encourage you to revisit these questions and your answers in 6 weeks to document your progress and refine anything need be.
Ways to Reinforce Good Mental Health and Wellbeing Post lockdown
Follow the Rules
Although lockdown is gradually being lifted, there are still government guidelines in place that we all must adhere too, in order to stop coronavirus spreading. We, therefore, must reinforce the importance of doing your part and adhering to the health and safety guidelines in place. This is essential to keeping everyone as safe as possible. However, following the rules may also give you peace of mind that you are doing your part for your community.
Tip: There are standard government guidelines which can be found in useful links below. However, be sure to always check when you enter new premises what their guidelines are. Your health and safety must come first.
During lockdown some people may have found they were video calling and speaking to family and friends more. Although there are still strict lockdown measures in place, that will restrict certain gatherings and peoples interaction; when you can, meet up with your friends and family! Perhaps go for a nice time over at the park, or see if your local farms are open. Interacting with people and your loved ones is a great way to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Seeing a friendly face and having a good time will benefit your mind and help you relax. Be intentional and book in some interaction time.
Tip: If you are still in quarantine and self-isolating, try to telephone or video call some of your loved ones. If you are feeling particularly lonely, there are some organisations you can reach out to. These will be listed in our useful links below.
Stepping Back When You Need To
Getting back into a routine and getting back to ‘normal’ may not come easy for everyone. After all, we have been in full lockdown for almost four months. Be easy on yourself and take a step back when you need to. This may mean a relaxing evening, passing on overtime at work, reading your favorite book, having an extra bit of sleep or whatever you may feel necessary. When we take a step back, we are able to recharge. Give your mind the time it deserves to recuperate and take things as slow as you need to.
If you are familiar with Bennu, you will know that we are advocates of self-care! Throughout lockdown, we continued to tell the importance of self-care and post lockdown is no different. Self-care is when you are intentional about certain rituals and habits to look after yourself and wellbeing. We have many resources on this and will also have some linked below. Try your best to incorporate some self-care practices into your week, this will hugely benefit your wellbeing.
Do Not Suffer in Silence
If you think you are struggling with your mental health, please do not suffer in silence. Reach out to someone today. Covid-19 and lockdown shocked us all and therefore the effects on your mental health might be unusual. However, it must be taken seriously. Do not hesitate in reaching out to some of the useful links below, you and your mental health will be much better off.
We have qualified professional therapists who will be happy to have a conversation with you. Get in contact with us today here.
If this post has been helpful, please let us know in the comments below and on social media. Share this post with a friend or anyone you feel will benefit.
Take great care of yourself,
Useful Links to Other Self-Care Resources
Useful links on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
NHS Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
UK Government Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Useful Links For Mental Health
Emergency Mental Health Help
You call UK emergency services by dialling 999