Prioritising your mental health after Covid + #win

mental health after Covid

With it comes to life post-pandemic, one of the biggest issues out there continues to be mental health. Perhaps you are already feeling anxious about the easing of restrictions, and concerned about life in the “new norm” in general. Well, I have to say I’m 100% with you on that one. With that said, we’re sharing top tips from Alison McDowall – mum, mental health advocate, PND survivor and the co-founder of The Positive Planner – on prioritising your mental health after Covid.

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A lot has changed in the past few months but you can certainly draw some positives from these strange times too. Taking care of ourselves and making our mental health after Covid a priority is one of them. Here are my top tips for prioritising your mental health after Covid….

Self-care is NOT selfish 

It’s a sad truth that we will prioritise everyone else around us before our own needs. However, in order to function at our best we really need to make time to rest, replenish and regain our energy. Think of it like protecting yourself from burnout! We like to think of self-care like damage prevention or self-preservation.

Nourish your mind, body and soul 

Think of it like three circles that overlap each other. You can find a sense of wholeness right in the centre if you treat each with kindness, care and respect. Feeding each element will help you maintain a more balanced lifestyle, have a healthier mindset and be more resilient at dealing with whatever life throws your way.

Get organised

This can look like simple daily rituals like list-making or maybe a planning session on a Sunday that could help you feel more in control of the week ahead. We suggest getting pen on to paper and mapping things out to try and find a little calm in the chaos. Planning your self-care and positive moments will help you carve out time and make them happen.

Ditch the guilt and be your own best friend

Finding a positive way to talk to yourself can really help your sense of wellbeing. All too often we can slip into that familiar negative quicksand. Your inner narrative needs to be on your team too. Realising that you are doing your best and that is all you can really do is quite liberating.

Try and respond to your irrational thoughts with more of a rational ‘wise’ voice, ask yourself if what you are saying to yourself is kind. Would you say that to a friend? If it’s a no then maybe have a words with yourself!

Calm your mind

Find a mindful activity to help you process the many threads of life that you have running at the same time. Something repetitive can really help your mind unwind, also we believe that having something to do that is off-screen can really help reduce anxiety and calm your frazzled brain. Think of it like giving your head a hug. Whatever brings you back to the most authentic version of yourself is what you should be striving to make time for.

10 ways of prioritise self care #selfcare #mentalhealth #wellbeing #positivity

Circle of trust

We all need to have a team we can turn to and trust with our deepest thoughts. It’s important to keep talking and communicating your feelings in times of stress and anxiety. You will probably have found in the last few months that your true friends will have become evident to you.

Who were you in contact with the most? Who did you miss during lockdown? We suggest only ever investing in friendships with people that feel as though they really have your back. We all need to be heard and having conversations rooted in trust and truth can really help you work through your problems.

Get the professionals in

If you don’t feel that the people in your life have the time to listen or don’t truly have the ability to understand what you need. My advice is to find people that do. If that means finding a mindset coach to help you or maybe you need to find a therapist that can help you work through some of your concerns. What you need is people to effectively ‘hold space’ for you. A place to talk about the things coming up and find ways of coping with them. 

Move your body 

Sometimes it really is the last thing you want to do, but it’s proven that getting the blood flowing really does improve your mood. It doesn’t have to be hitting the gym or lifting weights, find what works for your body and the main thing is just to raise the heart rate and simply moving your body in some way.

A lot of online classes are very inclusive and we guarantee that you will get that post-workout glow whatever you do! It helps increase the serotonin levels in your body so staying physically healthy can often be the key to keeping mentally healthy too. It’s all about balance!

Find your joy 

What brings a smile to your face? It could be nature, family or even adrenaline seeking. We don’t know what makes you tick, but you do! So go ahead, be a thrill seeker and find the joy in your life again. It’s a crucial part of looking after your wellbeing. If it’s been a while since you felt that warm fuzzy feeling then we suggest journaling about all the times you felt true joy and try and make more of those things happen again!

Get real

Being realistic and accepting your reality is an essential part of making your mental health after Covid priority. We love the quote ‘Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can’, it’s all about having the awareness. Shining a light on things that are getting you down and facing them head-on.

The stressors in our lives can have a huge effect on our mental health. We try and encourage people to write down their worries in a journal and this can really help unearth what is keeping you from living to your full potential. Because let’s face it, if you don’t work, not much else in your life will.

***Giveaway***

We’ve teamed up with The Positive Planner for a chance to win a copy of the original mindful gratitude journal that encourages mental wellbeing through the use of daily reflections and mindfulness activities.

Enter on our giveaways page

Author bio

Alison McDowall is the co-founder of The Positive Planner. She is a Mum, a mental health advocate and a PND survivor.

37 comments

  1. I practise mindfulness as a way of keeping calm, stops my anxiety attacks, also helps with my daily pain management – cannot recommend it enough

  2. I’ve been spending time focusing on my art and close loved ones. I live on an island so I get lots of sunshine and enjoy the rolling sounds of the beach. I’ve also found I’ve been losing myself in great books. Carefully chosen of course to align with new goals and ambitions. Thank you for this post, it’s such an important contribution during a time like this.

  3. COVID is definitely taking its toll on a lot of people’s mental health. This is a good reminder to take some time for yourself and try to remember the good things.

  4. A lovely post. It’s very important to take time out for yourselves. Weather it be on the floor at the end of your bed or the back door step. A time to take in a few slow deep breathes, imagine you are in your happy place and just take a few minutes that’s your own. Jotting down our feelings can help too.

  5. I live alone so have felt very isolated and depressed. My 86 year old Nan who has lost three friends to Covid, and had to isolate for months has struggled more than I have. My daughter, a single Mum to an eight month old has been trapped within her four walls struggling to entertain a grumpy, teething, bored child, is at the end of her rope. When it’s safe, all the family are going to get together. we all need it. Covid has had a huge impact emotionally for a lot of people. Let’s hope there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now.

  6. Thank you for these super tips – they’re coming in just at the right time when things have just gotten worse here in Florida. While much of the world around us is (slowly) going back to normal, after the same amount of time staying home and not socializing or traveling, the virus is even worse here. It does seem like many people’s mental health is at a cracking point. Time for many of us to be more gentle to ourselves and be proactive in taking care of our mental health.

  7. Your point on getting organized really resonates with me. I got into such a way, where I just felt like, well there’s a pandemic what does any of this matter. My life felt more chaotic than it was, but once it clicked that my daily routine was just a mess, I knew what needed to be done. I got my self together both in routine and in my mental space, that alone really helped me cope with the daily news and constant pandemic updates.

  8. I was totally amazed on this one. It’s very true that we have to prioritize our mental health and also, great tips!

  9. I need to do more to help my wellbeing as I have been quite stressed during lockdown. I will continue to read though, and see friends and family as that also helps.

  10. This would be fantastic. I’ve been struggling with postnatal depression since giving birth 14 weeks ago, I had an awful pregnancy with Hyperemesis and then giving birth giving lockdown and a pandemic. Having little support from friends and family, not being able to meet people or go to any baby groups. Coping at home with a newborn and energetic nonstop 4 year old, luckily he adores his little brother and he never feels jealous or anything. But I need to look after my mental health, I’m trying to get more help and support, but it’s very difficult.

    • Abby, you sound like you have had a really tough time…it must have been so hard giving birth during lockdown it’s especially hard to get support now. I really hope things better for you as lockdown eases and that you manage to get a bit of self care in x

  11. Talking to each other about how we feel more and ways to help each and find ways to deal with those feelings

  12. I’ve been carving out some time during the week to do things for myself that I really enjoy, like reading and playing piano

  13. I’ve had my anti-depressants doubled and am awaiting some mental health help, but it’ll be toward end July before the initial consultation, which is quite a dreadful thing when you need help now! Post-lockdown won’t change a thing until they fix my knees as they prevent me getting out more than once a week anyway, as I’m in agony 24/7 and only use my legs when I have no option, such as getting a coffee or going to loo!!

  14. I think lockdown has forced most of us to slow down (even when we didn’t want to!) so I want to try to keep time in my day for mindfulness going forwards!

  15. My area is still in lockdown at the moment. When we are finally released Ill be spending more time going on long walks to clear my mind. At the moment, Im just trying to focus on the things I can do rather than the things I can’t.

  16. Spending as much time out in the fresh air, gardening, walking the dog or just sitting listening to the sounds of nature.

  17. I’m a single mum to a 1 year old so know how important it is to look after my mental health. Its gone south during this year but I pulled myself last week and trying to eat as healthy as my little boy (hes a fabulous eater) and get back to our daily walks. Writing a meal planner for the week and just last weekend ive started writing down all the places I want to take him when I feel it is safe to do so again.

  18. Post Covid :- We have been told to expect a “new normal ” with the easing of the lockdown. Also we have been told Covid is and will be around (it is just a matter of :- Where, When, etc?). So Social Distancing is part of the “new normal “. Till maybe we have an effective vaccine to use in order to “Protect the Public “.

    With the easing of lockdown :- Wonderful to see family, friends, etc. Even while we continue with Social Distancing. Personal Protective Equipment :- If / when we need to provide direct Care. Unpaid Carers still Care, and deserve to be Protected as much as is possible. Being around natural surroundings can be helpful. As the grass is green, the flowers bloom, the birds chirp :- Life, lifecycle continues.

    Garden centre now open, and has an aviary :- Lovely to visit. Perhaps in time they will reopen their pet corner (perhaps with marked out guidance for Social Distancing). Local park just recently opened, it has an animal / pet corner. The animals / pets are all in secure enclosures, and area marked with tape to guide Social Distancing.

    Nurturing my inner self, being kind to myself as well as others :- Is an aim. I believe a journal can be helpful in regards to this aim / goal. As when life has been about looking out for others, there is a need to re -focus. Remember we should all be in this together. Kindness is for everyone. I was brought up to appreciate kindness, and to reciprocate. Somehow :- Reciprocation seems to have become rarer over the years. With some living a life which is centred on what the self wants / can get :- Materialism. Saddens me that our older generation /s seem to have been ‘left to get on with life ‘. When many require Assistance, Care, Love, Food, Shopping, etc, etc. Manchester of these older person are people who have Cared for, and about others. Provided Care, perhaps worked (Employed), lived through war /s. Provided loving family pets. Taken their children and possibly others children on Days Out, holiday, etc. Granparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc.

    I plan to live my life in an Intergenerational environment / community / society. Social Distancing may be the only way that that can be done, and with appropriate attention on cleaning (hand washing, cleaning hard surfaces, etc). ” Everyone Matters “. Quality of Life is Important.

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