Right now, the world is experiencing a situation that nobody expected or prepared for. Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 at the end of last year in Wuhan, China, the world has seen a huge pandemic sweeping throughout every country with areas of Europe and the US highly affected. In the UK, a national lockdown was called in March in order to reduce the spread of the virus which saw individuals asked to work from home, schools closed, and all but non-essential businesses shut their doors.
While things returned to some variation of normal for a time over the summer with lockdown measures relaxed, the upcoming winter months are likely to see stricter measures put in place again with many areas of the UK seeing a rise in cases. As we head into a second wave of the virus with the threat of local lockdown looming over the most affected areas, here are some of the best ways to practice self-care and look after yourself.
Anxiety about the virus and catching it has perhaps become a pandemic of its own. Stress levels are high and many people are worried about the possibility of catching a virus that has been known to take lives and there is yet no known cure or vaccine for. If you’re worried about the possibility of getting COVID-19, the best thing that you can do right now is to stay at home as much as you can. Get online deliveries, work from home if you can, socialise online, and keep yourself safe – you’ll feel much more relaxed as a result.
Gyms have reopened but, understandably, many people are unsure about going as the idea of being in close proximity to other people and sharing equipment during a pandemic can be quite frightening. While any good gym in the UK has strict measures in place to protect their customers, this might not be enough to stop you from feeling anxious about working out in public. The good news is that you don’t have to visit the gym to keep fit. Get moving by going for a walk in the fresh air in your local park or doing some exercise videos at home. Physical activity is a great way to lift your mood and reduce stress thanks to the endorphins that it releases in your brain.
Many people find it helpful to express themselves with art, while others simply find creating artwork a process that helps them to relax and destress. Whether you’re an artistic person or have never tried it before, creating art can be a great way to focus on something productive while relaxing you at the same time. You don’t have to be Picasso; a paint-by-numbers can be a great option for beginners who aren’t confident in their abilities to create art as they have step-by-step guides that are hard to mess up. You can even turn your own photographs into a painting by numbers, which make great gifts or artwork to hang in your home.
Chances are that the heightened anxiety that you’re feeling right now is shared by others in your circle. Never be afraid to reach out to your friends and family and let them know how you are feeling. Sometimes, simply knowing that there’s somebody who can relate to you can help relieve some stress. Your friends and family can also offer valuable advice based on things that might have worked for them when it comes to managing stress, or simply offer you a listening ear and a supportive presence during these difficult times.
During the national lockdown, many people avoided visiting the doctor due to COVID-19 concerns. However, as we approach a second wave, the NHS have urged patients not to put off seeing a medical professional for other health concerns if needed, including mental health. If you feel that you have anxiety or depression that is getting out of control and taking over your life, it’s worth getting advice from your doctor. They can conduct a telephone appointment if you are worried about visiting the surgery during a pandemic. Your doctor will be able to refer you to a therapist or prescribe antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication to help you manage your symptoms.
If a big concern for you is the prospect of what would happen to your family if you were to die from COVID-19, getting life insurance will provide you with peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be financially protected in this unfortunate event. Hopefully, they will not have to use it, but the peace of mind that getting insured can provide will help to take the edge off a lot of the anxiety and stress that you might be experiencing during these uncertain times, particularly if you are in a high-risk category. If you have a mental health condition like anxiety or depression, whether it’s something you have dealt with for a while or has been brought on by the new social distancing and lockdown rules, you might struggle to get life insurance from a general provider, so consider mental health life insurance from I’m Insured. I’m Insured is an ideal place for people struggling with their mental health to search for mental health life insurance such as depression life insurance or anxiety life insurance. They also have some useful information on their company blog to help you look after your mental health during the pandemic.
While helping others and being more productive than usual might have helped some people get through the last lockdown, remember that you can’t do this if you’re not looking after yourself first. Don’t feel guilty if you need to take a day to simply relax and do nothing; sometimes all it takes is a day of reading a good book or watching movies, spending some time at home with your family and relaxing in a hot bath to help you feel more rejuvenated and ready to face the world. Don’t let yourself get burned out trying to be everything to everybody during these difficult times; you can only help others when you’re taking care of yourself.
Finally, the financial implications of the pandemic have been a huge source of stress and worry for many people. Whether you’re living on a reduced wage due to furlough, have found yourself out of work or are concerned about the possibility of losing your job in the upcoming months, cutting some costs now can help you save more money for the future and provide you with peace of mind. Consider cutting out any costs that you don’t need right now such as a gym membership that you are no longer using due to a pandemic. If you can, switching your utilities, broadband, and other household expenses like insurance could be a good way to save. Consider if there are any household costs that you could go without, like a TV license if you don’t watch live TV and only use Netflix. Remember that you’ll need to declare this on the TV licensing website.
If the current pandemic is making you feel more anxious than usual, you’re not alone. Try these self-care options to help you get back in control and make the most of these unusual times.