The latest episode in our Resilience Unravelled podcast series has now been released, Resilience Unravelled –Mental health during lockdown
In this podcast episode, Dr Russell Thackeray talks about how the current COVID-19 situation is affecting us all and shares some useful ideas about how we can cope with the situation we’re in whilst continuing to maintain good mental health during lockdown.
At the moment we are all spending most of our time at home so our relationships with family, friends and ourselves are all subject to new and different pressures. Dr Thackeray talks about the effect our mindset can have and the importance of ‘framing’ the lockdown so we feel less negative about the situation. He also talks about how getting into and keeping to daily routines is essential and how we need to realise our control limits and plan what we are going to do each day to help manage any stress.
As we all cope with new circumstances family interaction will change and may lead to conflict if not handled well. Dr Thackeray talks about the importance of establishing ways of resolving disputes and ensuring that everyone can have their own space. Children particularly need structure at the moment and the confidence that you are in control and outwardly calm. One thing that can help with this is limiting exposure to the news and social media and sticking to the daily factual briefings. Spending screen time on things where laughter is the main component is therapeutic and lifts our mood. Laughing out loud at some old black and white comedy films is much healthier than endless vitriol and commentary.
Dr Thackeray suggests we should all try to spend a few moments each day just being grateful for the situation in which we find ourselves. It really could be so much worse. The way we view the world is our choice so its important to maintain strong control over these choices and use distractional or focused thinking if anxiety begins to surface. We will always get things wrong but spending five minutes at the end of the day tidying everything away emotionally (even if the cupboards are a mess) does help. We need to be accountable for everything that happens in our day, to learn from it so we can improve things tomorrow – we cannot control the context, but we can control the situation.
Dr Thackeray also feels that we should start to consider the post COVID-19 world, the opportunities it may provide and how we will fit into it. The current situation will not last forever so we need to be able to bounce forward into the new world rather than back into the old.
A document with tips about maintaining good mental health during lockdown is available for free download at qedod.com/extras along with a lot more resilience toolkits and information.
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