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Don’t neglect your mental health in lockdown

Don’t neglect your mental health in lockdown

November 13, 2020
mental health - man looking thoughtfully out of a window

Looking after your mental health is more important than ever at the moment. As well as exercise, there are other ways to help with your mental wellbeing during this stressful and strange period of our lives.

Staying in touch with loved ones and friends when the restrictions prevent us from doing so in person is so important, whether by phone or the internet. Finding hobbies to do can also help during times of stress and the website of the Stress Management Society has a whole host of ideas you can try. You could also look at our ‘stuff to do’ series from the earlier lockdown.

But if you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, you or they can contact the West London NHS Trust on 0300 1234244 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).

You can also ask for psychological support from an Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service. You can refer yourself or speak to your GP or another healthcare professional for a referral.

DEALING WITH GRIEF

There are many reasons why a bereavement can feel even more difficult than normal right now, when rules on social distancing have been in place. People may have been prevented from visiting loved ones in hospital to say goodbye, not been able to attend funerals or come together to support one another, or they may not have been able to take part in normal family or cultural traditions. This can all impact on how we cope with grief and loss.

Bereft Bereavement Support is a local bereavement counselling charity. Clients pay what they can afford. Go to the Bereft website or call 020 8896 2800 for more information.

The mental health charity Mind also offers advice on bereavement and a huge range of mental health topics. Visit the Mind website or call 0300 123 3393.

Cruse, another bereavement charity, has a free helpline which is staffed by trained volunteers. Call 0808 808 1677 or email helpline@cruse.org.uk

STAYING ACTIVE

During this challenging time, it is important to keep active in line with the government’s social distancing advice. It is good for your state of mind as well as your overall health.

Cycling has a number of proven health benefits helping you to keep fit and have fun – as well as being good for the environment by helping to cut congestion on our roads and air pollution. You can read more on cycling safely and suggested routes in our article from earlier in the year.

Running and walking are also great ways to keep moving, as Councillor Rai explained in another previous article.

However, make sure you observe all the social distancing rules to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including keeping two metres apart from others where possible.

You can also just do some exercise at home. For some ideas on what you can do at home, see our article on exercising at home.