Follow a routine

If you’re put into a stricter lockdown, it’s important to create a routine to give your day structure.

  • Try to get up and go to bed at the same time every day, aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
  • If you’re working from home, make sure you schedule in lunch breaks, and time to move and stretch.
  • Make time for exercise. This can include activities like lifting weights, an online dance class or a long walk.

Eat well

Try to prepare nutritious meals if you can. Eating well is good for both your physical and mental health.

  • Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to make sure you’re getting a range of vitamins and minerals. Fresh, frozen, dried and tinned options all count.
  • Have regular meals and stick to healthy snack optionssuch as fruit, or a small handful of unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D (10 micrograms), especially during the winter. This is particularly important if you aren’t exposed to much sunlight, are over 65 or have dark skin.

Keep hydrated

Drinking enough fluids helps your body function properly. The Eatwell Guide recommends you have six to eight glasses of fluid a day, but drink a bit more if you’re exercising.

Avoid excess

It can be easy to form unhealthy habits as a way of coping. While these might feel like they’re helping you deal with the situation, they often make you feel worse in the long term.

  • Try cutting down on how much caffeine you drink. Having too much caffeine, or having it later in the day, can affect how well you sleep. It may also cause you to feel irritable and add to any feelings of anxiety.
  • While it might be tempting, don’t turn to alcoholsmoking or other recreational drugs as coping strategies for stress. They will only make things worse.

Take time to switch off

While it’s important to stay informed, try not to constantly refresh the news if you find it makes you feel anxious, angry or stressed.

You might also find it helpful to spend some time away from social media. This might be especially true if you’re in a local lockdown, but many of your friends aren’t.

Taking some slow deep breaths can help reduce anxiety levels and help you reset. Try breathing in for four counts, hold your breath for four counts and breathe out for five counts.

Spend time in nature

Take time to be in nature if you can. If you can go outside, then try going for a walk or run in a green space. If you can’t leave your house, just looking out of your window can help. Take five minutes to notice five different aspects of nature such as:

  • looking at your house plants
  • observing the cloud patterns in the sky
  • listening to birds singing or the sound of rainfall outside
  • feeling the cool air against your skin
  • smelling the scent of some flowers or herbs

Extracts taken from the MIND website

Activity to do at home

Bird feeders to make at home :

For those who might take part in the RSPB birdwatch survey in January .(This can be done at home with a cup of tea , or at local park .) You can register early in December for the survey which will be in January.