Managing your mental health

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week which takes place 10-16 May, we have put together some tips on working from home, increasing your productivity levels and generally protecting your mental wellbeing during challenging times.

We all have physical and mental health and they can both vary from time to time. We know what poor physical health can do, but do we know what poor mental health looks and feels like?

Some examples could be: poor sleep, struggling to stay focussed, low energy and general worries.

How can we protect our mental health and build resilience?

  • We need to invest in ourselves by making sure we get enough sleep and physical exercise.
  • Give yourself something to look forward to – put yourself first.
  • Have some “me” time, which admittedly is not always easy to do when working from home.
  • School children are always given playtime. We need to ensure that as adults we also get playtime!
  • Take a break between tasks, get some fresh air and make sure you have some social interaction.

Tips if you are working from home

  • Leave the house everyday, even if it is just to get some fresh air.
  • Move around the house. Don’t stay in the same place all day, shifting to a new zone can re-energise you.
  • At work, give yourself a start time, a lunch time and a time to shut down, factor in some playtime.
  • Stay focussed and try to switch off from distractions.
  • Have some social interaction. A quick chat with a colleague can really help.
  • Know what you need to do to have a good day. You know yourself better than anyone else.

Extra tips for protecting your mental health in challenging times

  • Limit the time you spend watching items that aren’t making you feel any better as they will drag you down.
  • Decide a specific time to check the news.
  • Stay informed by using a trusted source of information.
  • Social media can be overwhelming. Try muting notifications.
  • Stay connected with people.
  • Have some down time, take some annual leave.
  • Exercise, eat well and stay hydrated.

Additional information

The Mental Health Foundation is a charity specialising in research and policy development, with a focus on preventing mental health problems. They are not able to advise people directly on their personal circumstances.

Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. If you are concerned that you are developing a mental health problem you should seek the advice and support of your GP as a matter of priority. If you are in distress and need immediate help and are unable to see a GP, you should visit your local A&E. There are also a number of mental health organisations that provide helplines.

If you would like advice about looking after your mental health during COVID-19 visit this page.

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