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How to look after your mental health when you're social distancing

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How do we look after our mental health when we're social distancing? It's a question on many of our minds and one that doesn't always have an easy answer. Social distancing can bring isolation from loved ones and friends, or in some cases too much contact and cabin fever with your loved ones and you're starting to look forward to your daily trip to the supermarket! 

So how do we look after our mental health in this trying time? 

The answers might seem simple, but that doesn't mean that they are easy to do or that this isn't a very challenging time for all of us. What works for some people might not work for others, but it's important to at least try and to see if anything can work for you, even in a small way. 

One thing that has helped me a great deal is running and getting outside (whilst maintaining social distance, so I try to go out at quiet hours), but running isn't for everyone and if it's not for you then try some of our other suggestions below. 

  • Meditation
    Meditation can work wonders and those who have been practising for a long time are certainly the good poster child for the benefits of meditating and working towards a calmer mind. Whilst it can seem daunting at first why not try apps like Calm or Headspace who can take you through a journey to a calmer mind and daily gratitude. 
  • Exercise
    This isn't for everyone, but the endorphins that are released when you exercise can leave you feeling that much better. It's also an excuse to get outside, providing you're allowed to in your respective towns and practise social distancing etiquette. If you can't get outside why not take advantage of apps like Sweat or Asana Rebel, or head to Instagram and follow your favourite fitness guru, many of which are offering free online workouts that offer a group setting via video conferencing! 
  • Stay connected
    
    We live in a time when we have connectivity at our fingertips and just because we can't physically hang out with our friends or loved ones doesn't mean we can't connect with them. Take advantage of the fact so many phones, tablets, laptops etc can provide a video service and facetime your loved ones or friends. 
  • Change your own expectations
    
    Now is not the time to set yourself unrealistic goals that can add extra stress to your daily routine, it's ok if you don't exercise every day, it's ok if you enjoy your quarantine snacks in one sitting, don't be too hard on yourself or those around you, this is a unique time for everyone! 
  • Manage your news intake
    
    It's important to stay up to date with what is happening the world, but equally don't overload yourself with information that causes anxiety, try not to sit up and consume every bit of news coverage you can, and try to avoid doing this all together before you go to bed! 
  • Take on online crystal soundbath
    
    These can be wonders if you aren't good at meditation, and just because you can't access one in real life right now doesn't mean you can't reap some of the benefits of a crystal soundbath via your headphones. It can also be a good way to switch off if you want to limit your tv time but don't want to entertain yourself.
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