We’ve likely been on a bit of a roller-coaster ride of emotions and adjustments over the past year so it’s understandable if we are not feeling our best right now. Many of us placed hope on 2021 to be better and the news of a third lockdown so early on may not fit with the goals or expectations we had for this year. There is no ‘normal’ or ‘right’ way to feel at the moment but there are things we can do to support our mental wellbeing. Here are 3 top tips to help with this:
Talk to People you Trust
On top of general life stresses and pressures, the pandemic has likely added additional challenges. We may be feeling a range of emotions including feeling anxious and worried about becoming unwell, stressed and frustrated about the restrictions and changes that have been put in place, or sad and lonely from not being able to see friends and family. We may also have experienced loss through bereavement, changes to our work situation, or no longer being able to enjoy things that were meaningful to us.
Without being able to see people socially like we used to, it can feel harder to have spontaneous conversations and we may feel alone in the way we feel. It’s important that we make an effort to stay connected with others. Talking to people we trust and feel comfortable with can have a number of benefits, including:
Provides an opportunity to realise that others are also finding things difficult, so feeling less alone
Learning from each other about what can be helpful in managing our difficulties
Gaining different perspectives.
Building a sense of sense of social support and connection with others which is positive for mental wellbeing.
Learn something New
While there are limitations on where we can go and what we can do, there is also an opportunity to get creative and try something new. Think of things that interest you and how you might be able to build up a new skill. So much has moved online now – you can enrol in courses, follow tutorials, listen to podcasts, or join a new type of exercise class.
The benefits of learning include:
Keeping our brain active and engaged
Feeling more positive about our own sense of ability which improves self-belief and confidence
Increased motivation and ability to problem-solve which can increase positive emotions.
Spend Time in Nature
Our restricted ability to go out is hopefully a motivator to take our daily exercise outside if we’re able to. This is a great opportunity to pay attention to nature around us. If you’re shielding or self-isolating, spend some time by a window to watch the sky or clouds. If this isn’t possible, caring for a plant or flowers can be another way to connect with nature while indoors. Research into the benefits of being in nature have found:
Spending time in green spaces like parks, forests, fields or gardens, can improve mood, increase life-satisfaction and reduce stress
Listening to nature sounds can support us to focus externally which can have a soothing effect
Exercising in a green space has been found to have benefits on our emotional wellbeing in as little as five minutes!
How Brighter Minds can Help
Brighter Minds offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is the psychological therapy recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care and Excellence (NICE) for common mental health difficulties, including anxiety and depression. CBT acknowledges that we can't always control our situation but we can change the way we think and behave to help us feel better. You can find out more about CBT in our article, What to Expect from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
To book a consultation with us, visit Our Services.
If you are a little unsure or would like further information about whether CBT may be helpful for you, feel free to get in touch.