Looking after your mental well-being

18 March 2020

During this uncertain time, we here at Inspire want to focus on all the positive things you can be doing to look after your mental well-being.

Situations like this are not pleasant for anyone and can cause many to experience feelings of unease and anxiety. It is important that we all stay positive and look after ourselves. Many people will be regularly checking Facebook, Instagram and News Media sites for the latest on Covid-19. Though it is always good to stay informed, try limiting your exposure to social media as it has been known to increase anxiety. Also when reading articles on Facebook and other platforms, try to separate the real news from the false news – Everything you read online isn’t always fact!

Here are some anxiety busters below, be sure to give them a try, you may surprise yourself!

Activities for Anxiety:

  • Regularly practise relaxation, this can be done through meditation (There are some great apps on Smart Phones that are free).
  • Try deep breathing: This can be done by breathing through your nose and down into your belly (not chest), you’ll feel your belly inflate, this is a good thing! Breathe through your nose for four seconds, hold in your belly for four, and breath out from your mouth for four. This practice is known to regulate breathing, promote the relaxation of muscles and generally calm any panic or anxiety.
  • Why not do some free exercise? This could be doing jumping jacks, some sit ups, press ups or maybe even some yoga! All these activities are known to release endorphins (these are our happy chemicals in the body), in no time you’ll be feeling a healthy buzz and feeling better, as well as keeping fit.
  • If you find yourself in a moments panic, try grounding yourself. What’s grounding? Well, simply focus on a few things, but really focus on them. What can you smell? How does it smell? What can you touch and how does it feel? Try tasting something and thinking about all the different flavours. What sounds can you hear, how do they sound? Sitting quieting and really thinking deeply about all these things has been known to promote well-being and soothe anxiety.
  • If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden, step outside! Feel the breeze and notice the spring flowers coming through. Fresh air and nature are known to enhance our well-being.
  • If you have a pet, play with them! Throw a ball for your dog, spend time with your cat. Its a scientific FACT that engaging with pets lowers stress and makes us feel good!
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxtion- Work from your feet and through your body, focusing your mind on each part of your body. As you work through, tense each part just a little and let it go limp. This activity is fantastic for ridding of tension. Lay down or sit, either is fine, but really focus on your body for 10 minutes- you’ll be feeling relaxed in no time!

Distraction Activities:

  • Try painting if you have some paint. You can use fingers for messy play or create a work of art on paper or canvas.
  • Try drawing/sketching; YouTube has a lot of beginners tutorials.
  • Watch a film that makes you laugh!
  • Listen to music and sing along!
  • Try a relaxing bath with plenty of bubbles, it’ll make you feel good and ease any muscle tension.
  • Do a crossword or word search. They can be found in most shops in little books, but also newspapers offer lots of free word games towards the back.
  • Read a new book or study a new subject.
  • Play a memory game on your phone
  • Try using any left over food in your house to make a new recipe and enjoy the wonders of cooking. It’ll taste good and make you feel achieved!
  • Write a poem if you want to let your feelings out. Similarly you can also keep a journal to note down your feelings, it helps to write it out. Try a short story if you want to create your own fictional characters, or if you’re feeling inspired by latest events.
  • Practice kindness. Kindness and giving can make us feel good, call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time, or relative. Make friends and family dinner or lunch, or do a chore around the house without being asked. Your family and friends will be grateful which will in turn make you feel good.
  • Grab a piece of paper and just start making patterns out of colours.
  • Take some time to catch up on some rest and have a nap! Go on, treat yourself!
  • Play an online game that you can play with others.
  • If you have siblings, let them join in on any games or activities you are doing. Sometimes sharing the fun, makes it more fun!
  • Try building something out of recycled tins, bottles etc.
  • Upcycle: Do you have any old furniture that you’d be able to get permission to paint or tidy up. Upcycling is good for the environment, our concentration and our creativity. Give it ago!
  • Be frugal! Did you know lots of websites like (Music Magpie, CEX etc) accept books, movies and games and in turn give you a pay out. Did you know having a spring clean can be good for your soul and you can make some money! Go to their app or websites and have a clear out of your media. Then, print off a free post label and post it to them and wait for the money to roll in!
  • Make ‘Mocktails’, you’ve all heard of cocktails, well these are fun, non-alcoholic and often enjoyable to make. Research mocktails online and in no time you’ll be squeezing fruits and having tasty drinks!

These are just some ideas, but there are loads more you can do!

At this time it is important to do things that make you feel good, help distract you, and keep you busy! Just try a few on the list and who knows, maybe you’ll even engage in something that becomes a new hobby.

Try turning social media off and treating yourself to some well deserved fun and rest!