In the first of a series of videos on managing mental health, we look at ways to manage your mood during lockdown. The video was done right at the start of the lockdown in the UK but its focus on self care and making the decisions that work best for your own circumstances continue to be relevant as we come out of lockdown.
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In order to best manage our mood in general, we should stick to the following principles:
Do fun things.
Especially during the heart of the lockdown we were mostly deprived of the things that keep our mood good. We naturally tend towards doing certain things without thinking too much about them. During lockdown people were starved of the ability to go down the gym, to go to nightclubs, see a football game, attend church and so on. Restrictions continue in some of those areas. If you have been unable to do the things you would normally do, it is likely that your mood will have been affected. It is really important that you find other things to do while lockdown is on and, once it is lifted, go back to doing the fun things – the things that give you pleasure and make you happy.
Focus in on your thoughts and be prepared to challenge them
We all tend to engage in unhelpful thinking at points in time which can affect our mood. Be less certain about what you tell yourself. Notice when you start to engage with negative scenarios which have not happened – recognise that there is always a range of possible outcomes – including positive ones!
Check your thoughts against the facts of a situation. Because something bad has just happened doesn’t mean that bad things ALWAYS happen to you! Notice the difference between PERCEPTION and FACT. We tend to work with our perceptions and they are not necessarily correct.