'No Moaner-virus' - how to maintain positive physical and mental health

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The coronavirus situation is scary, and it’s been taking its toll on a lot of people’s mental and physical health.

The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to minimise the impact that news of the pandemic has on you. It’s important to bear in mind that while this is a difficult period, it doesn’t have to be an healthy one.

It may seem impossible to stay positive but if you follow these tips you may find yourself feeling less negative and more in control. Take baby steps and be kind to yourself.

1. Limit your news consumption

Whilst it’s important to stay informed, immersing yourself in grim statistics all day can have dire consequences and may, understandably, leave you feeling stressed or anxious. Managing your exposure to media coverage is within your control.

If you have a news app on your phone, turn off the push notifications. Avoid listening to radio stations as they tend to have news reports every hour or so, which will inevitably contain updates on COVID-19. Try listening to some curated playlists on Spotify or Apple Music, or even give Podcasts a go.

It is important to keep updated so try allocating time each day to catch up; watch the daily press briefing or 6pm news, and leave it at that.

2. Fill your timeline with joy

With more people working from home or self-isolating, it feels as though people are spending more time on social media than usual.

With this, the amount of posts has increased massively. It’s difficult to go on any social media platform without being bombarded with news, stories and dubious facts about coronavirus.

There is no fact-checking on social media, so take what you read with a pinch of salt, and research any claims you find before reposting them.

One of the best things you can do is mute certain words, so any posts containing them won’t appear on your timeline. Find out how you can do that on Twitter and Facebook here.

Noticing that a lot of the posts that upset you most come from the same person? Mute or block them. Your social media is for you, and if something is upsetting you then you need no other reason to remove them.

Try to make your social media a happy place to be, do this by following people who make you feel happy.

Here are eight happy Instagram accounts you could follow.

3. Get moving

If you’re not one for exercise, then try not to overthink this one.

Something as simple as a stretch, star jumps or even a ‘shake it out’ type of dance will deliver a mood boost.

Physical activity will help you get the adrenalin out of your body and allow you to channel any anxiety you’re feeling elsewhere.

The best thing to do is build activity into your daily routine where possible. Cleaning your home counts as exercise, as does dancing to music or going up and down stairs.

If you fancy taking it to the next level, there are loads of online exercise workouts you can follow in the comfort of your own home. Take a look at some here.

Exercise releases endorphins, which can create a feel-good high – so get moving!

4. Add some structure to your days

One of the worst feelings is when you’re lying in bed feeling as though you have nothing to get up for. It may help you to add some structure to your day. This can be as specific as you feel it needs to be.

Try to get up at a regular time every day and follow a similar type of routine. Your life is bound to be different during lockdown, but that doesn’t mean it has to be worse.

If you aren’t happy with your usual routine, then now’s the chance to switch it up and try something new! Always wanted more time to try out new makeup looks or cooking? Try incorporating these things into your routine and see how you get on.

Planning out what you’re going to do everyday will also help you keep distracted and focus on other things in your life.

Not sure where to start? Take some inspiration from This one.

5. Find ways to distract your brain

Okay, so you’ve decided you want to create a routine, but you’re not sure what you want to include? Not to worry.

Ultimately, you want to spend your time doing things that bring you joy. Of course, being productive is great, but in the current situation the most important thing is that you treat yourself with kindness.

Here is a great bucket list of things to do while in self-isolation.

If you do fancy being productive, why not try having a clear out? Go through your stuff and find homes for everything. Alternatively, go the whole hog and have a total declutter and spring clean.

You could also try having a digital clear out. Delete blurry pictures or accidental screenshots from your camera roll, delete apps that aren’t used and make those software updates that you’ve been putting off.

Schedule in a call with your friends or family once a week, or whenever is good for you. Connection to people you love is a great comfort.

We’re all in the same boat so chances are people will understand and empathise with how you’re feeling. Remember you are not alone.

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