From midnight on Thursday, November 5 – if left undisputed by the House of Commons – the UK will enter another four-week lockdown. How can you strengthen your mental health during this time?
Access to gyms, restaurants, pubs, non-essential shops and places of worship will close.
This includes leisure centres, beauty salons and entertainment venues that will shut their doors.
Although schools, colleges and universities can stay open, if people can work from home, they must.
Aside from exercising outdoors, essential supermarket shopping and medical care, people will be confined to their homes.
This differs from the March lockdown in one very specific way – the weather.
While the spring enabled people to queue outside supermarkets in the glow of sunshine, this winter will be bitterly cold and dark.
To keep on top of your mental health, psychotherapist Sarah Kendrick shares her expertise.
Pay attention to what makes you feel good, examples may include “eating healthy food, going out for walks or exercising”.
If music brightens your mood, why not play your favourite artists when completing daily chores around the house?
Maybe you enjoy putting on a face mask and sinking into a warm bubble bath? Focus on the things that feel good to you.
Take a break
The latest news will always be accessible, but the endless updates can be “overwhelming”.
Limit exposure to coronavirus updates “once a day only”, advises Sarah.
A consistent routine
“This sounds dull,” confesses Sarah, but a routine “will help you get through each day”.
“Go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat regularly, shower, change your clothes, and get some fresh air.
“Book in video-chats with colleagues or friends, do your chores. Make time for fun!”
“Finding things that help you breathe deeply, consciously setting your worries aside or focusing on the moment to recharge can be helpful,” explains Sarah.
Distraction has also been highlighted as a useful tool during the national lockdown.
“Watching films or TV programmes, reading or listening to music will provide relief from anxious feelings,” certifies Sarah.
If you’d like to share any of your mental health tips for other people, comment below.