mental health day

Looking after your mental health

Now more than ever, it’s vital to look after your mental, as well as your physical health. These are unprecedented times and whilst worry and anxiety are completely normal, it’s really important that you have tools and strategies in place to be able to cope with these feelings as and when they surface. If you do find yourself struggling or feeling unsettled, here are a couple of things you can do help.

1. Keep connected

It’s important that (whilst still adhering to social distancing measures) we still keep in contact with friends and family. If you’re unable to meet in person, keep in touch with regular phone calls, video chats or on social media.

2. Talk to others

Speaking to someone you trust really can help to alleviate feelings of worry and anxiety. If you don’t feel there is someone you can talk to, there are a number of helplines available to support you.

3. Plan ahead

It can feel impossible to plan ahead at the moment, but it can help if you take some time to think about what you’ve got coming up and how you can prepare for it.

4. Look after yourself

It’s easy to slip into unhealthy habits when you’re not feeling your best, but try to eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and take up some exercise. Even if it’s only a quick 10-minute walk, every little helps!

5. Know your limits

If you feel overwhelmed, try to limit the amount of time you spend watching, reading and listening to things you may find upsetting. Instead, use that time to focus on things you enjoy, or check in with friends and family.

6. Fact check

Particularly in relation to coronavirus, it’s important that the news you’re getting is accurate. For updates, we’d recommend the .Gov or NHS websites.

7. Focus on what you can control

It takes practice, but try to focus on the things you can control, rather than the things you can’t. It might not make you anxiety free, but when you’re spending time concentrating on things you can control, you’ll have less time to worry about the things you can’t. 

8. Stay in the present

Staying in the present, rather than worrying about the future, can help with anxiety and worry. To help improve your mood, try mindfulness exercises that are designed to help you pay more attention to the here and now.  

9. Do things you enjoy

Focusing on a hobby or activity you enjoy can really help to take your mind off stress and worries. If you’re unable to get out and about, think of things you can do at home that will help you relax.

10. Get the right amount of sleep

When feelings of anxiety surface, we can end up sleeping too much or too little. A regular sleeping pattern and good quality sleep will help you feel better, both physically and mentally.  Try turning screens off a couple of hours before bed, avoid caffeine and create an evening routine designed to help you wind down. 

At Smart Teachers, we’re here for all our staff and are doing everything we can to support them throughout the pandemic. If you are struggling with your mental health and need more guidance, visit the NHS website for more information, including self-help, support networks and services in your local area.