Mental Health and Wellbeing During Lockdown

How to keep calm and stay optimistic during the pandemic

Coronavirus is a threat to our physical health but the crisis is also a threat to our mental health.  

People are trying to follow the advice #stayathomesavelives, but at the same time they feel anxious, bored and lonely. It isn’t relevant matter how we are, how active we were in our social life, lockdown can be a very difficult for each of us. 

We do not have the opportunity to leave home as much as we would like or feel as free as we did to before. Some of us would like to keep themselves busy with our kids, and maintain a normal routine and others just want to avoid thoughts about the pandemic and things we cannot change. 

We spend more and more time sitting in front of our computers on video conferences with our colleagues and friends to try to stay sane, but this not good for our health an wellbeing. If you are lucky and live in the countryside you can get out or a walk and some fresh air, but not all of us can.  How can we stay on top of our mental health as well as our physical health? The British government has just published some wellbeing guidance.  

As an international team with people working together from all over the globe we are not strangers to collaborating globally.  We would like to share some of our experiences to keep calm and maintain your optimism during these hard times.
  1. Keep active

Try to exercise as much as you can, not just in the morning (assuming you had a morning exercise routine before!), take regular breaks from the screen.  We ask our teams to make a short walk, even around the house, every two hours. Get the blood circulating. If you have a dog then they will definitely be glad of a regular short walk too.  If you have a conference call where you don’t need to be looking at the screen, for example a coaching meeting, then do that while you take a walk – it is remarkable how much of a difference it makes. Exercise helps your good sleep and keeps your mind off of negative thoughts.   

  1. Keep Connected 

As humans we are, by nature, social creatures; online communication can’t replace hugs and warm words from our friends and loved ones. Team spirit is always harder to keep when you have less face time, but is extremely important to inspiring each other, supporting each other and overall that leads to better performance.  One key tip is to keep the communications with colleagues personal as well, share a little tidbit about what you have done, what you had for lunch – make it personal and encourage a few minutes of each meeting to keep it human.

We have Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Hangouts and more to help us share a bit of face to face communication and, where we can, we should do that.  Too many of us turn off the camera and replace our image with a photo or avatar – while that works well when we see each other regularly, it doesn’t work well now.  Turn the camera and connect. This has a side benefit too, it means we need to take a bit of time with our appearance before the call, and that is something that makes us all feel better too.

Using our GleamDream platform you can find new people all around the world to share hobbies and to learn new things.

  1. Explore new things

Keep learning is supporting your mental health. Now you have time to study cooking with your children, you can learn how to play piano or guitar, how to write a novel – opportunities became much wider. Even if you have lost your job – you can join our GleamDream platform now and you can find a volunteer who can share his experience with you for free.  The Open University is also now opening up a lot of free short courses to allow people to deepen and broaden their skills.  

Again video conferencing can open up new opportunities, cooking together with friends you are apart from, online wine tastings and much more.  Creativity keeps your mind active and it is great to share.

  1. Share and Give 

We are all are part of communities. Loving, sharing and giving are part of our common lives and fundamental values. If you have something to give people who are needy, do it! During this time of isolation and lockdown we need to take care about each other more than ever.

Time to unite, time to support each other. It will help to make our planet a happier and healthier place. 

Kate Gould

Author Since: March 30, 2020

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