Top Tips for Staying at Home
You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or those close to you.
It is OK to feel like this – everyone reacts in their own way to challenging events and uncertainty. It's important to remember that staying at home may be difficult, but you are helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.
The tips and advice here are suggested by mental health organisations and the NHS, these are things you can do now to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while staying at home. Make sure you get further support if you feel you need it.
1. Plan your day
We are all adjusting to a new, rather strange, way of life. This can be a risk to our mental wellbeing.
As tempting as it might be to stay in pyjamas all day, regular routines are essential for our identity, self-confidence and purpose.
2. Move more every day
Being active reduces stress, increases energy levels, can make us more alert and help us sleep better.
Even at home, there will be lots of ways to exercise and keep your body moving.
3. Try a relaxation technique
Relaxing and focusing on the present can help improve your mental health and lighten negative feelings.
Try some different meditation or breathing exercises to see what helps. For example, sometimes we can be so tense that we do not even remember what being relaxed feels like. Progressive muscle relaxation teaches you to recognise when you are starting to get tense and how to relax.
A range of relaxation techniques, including progressive muscle relaxation are available from the NHS.
4. Connect with others
Staying at home, especially if you live on your own, can feel lonely. Find creative ways to keep in touch with co-workers, friends, family, and others to help you (and them) feel more connected and supported.
Explore ways of connecting that work for you, whether that’s by post, over the phone, social media, or video-chat. This could be anything, from sharing a cup of tea over video, playing an online game together, or simply sending a supportive text-message.
5. Take time to reflect and practice self-compassion
Make time every day to reflect on what went well. It's important to recognise your successes and the things you are grateful for, no matter how small.
Mindfulness techniques may also help you focus on the present rather than dwelling on unhelpful thoughts (though they may not be helpful for those experiencing more severe depression).
6. Improve your sleep
Feelings of uncertainty and changes to daily life may mean you have more difficulty sleeping.
There is a lot you can do to improve your sleep. Aim to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even at the weekend if you can, and try to get some natural sunlight (by opening your curtains and windows) where possible. This helps to regulate your body clock which can help you sleep better.
Wind down before bed by avoiding using your phone, tablet, computer or TV for an hour before bedtime.