As Lockdown restrictions are easing, our way of life is changing again. Some people will be excited to get back to normal as soon as possible (there’s only so much Netflix one person can watch right?!) but for others the return to “normality” creates feelings of anxiety. No matter how you feel, it’s important to remember that your feelings are valid. Looking after yourself and your mental wellbeing at this time is just as important. The CitySA team have put together some information and tips to help you through this time of change.
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Keep a Daily Routine
It’s so easy to forget about routine, especially during the summer holidays. Despite this, having routine is really important for our mental wellbeing. Without structure, it’s really easy to turn day into night and lose track of time. Get up at the same time every day, have a shower and get dressed in the morning, even if it’s only into a new pair of pyjamas. Keep structured meal times – don’t forget to have breakfast, lunch and dinner – why not try your hand at making something new? Keeping a routine helps keep us focussed.
Turn Off Social Media (for a wee while)
We are overloaded with information at the moment. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish fact from fiction and to not feel overwhelmed by the constant updates. If you are reading social media, make sure to seek updates from reputable sources like the World Health Organisation (WHO). It’s important to take some time to come off our social media and switch off. Why not read a book, listen to a podcast, watch a film or dance like nobody’s watching! Remember, you can also hide words or hashtags from appearing on your Twitter Feed or disable comments on your posts if you are feeling overwhelmed. You can find out how to do this here.
We’re now able to meet up with people from other households and as the weeks go by, this will relax further. It’s hard to remember all the rules and restrictions as they are changing so often. To keep yourself right, visit the Scottish Government website. Remember to keep your distance from others and consider the use of face coverings in enclosed spaces. We are all desperate to see family and friends but remember that some people may still be feeling anxious about getting out and about. Be mindful of this and try not to pressure friends who might not quite feel ready yet – being supportive and understanding is the best way to help them adapt at their own pace.
Wearing a Face Covering
Wearing a face covering can take some getting used to. Some people find breathing uncomfortable while others feel that they may be judged by others. This is a big change for all of us and it will take some time to adapt. Wearing a face covering is proven to reduce the spread of respiratory infections like coronavirus. By wearing one, you are showing respect to others by protecting them in the case that you may be carrying the virus. Face coverings are now mandatory on public transport and advised in shops. You don’t need to buy medical grade or disposable facemasks, you can easily make some using a scarf or some old fabric.
Our mantra when leaving the house has changed a little from life before coronavirus... "phone – check, keys – check, hand sanitiser – check, face covering – check!”
Keep in Touch
Even though we’re able to see others now, technology will continue to play a big role in our lives. We’re sure that we’re not the only one who has cringed at our screen time in the past few months. Zoom calls have become a normal part of our everyday lives and we’ve actually had lots of fun learning to live “digitally” – although we are so over online pub quizzes!
It’s easy to push exercise to one side when normality starts to resume but remember that regular walking, running or out on your bicycle are great ways to clear your mind and help you to keep your immune system strong.
Home workouts are also a great way to get your daily exercise in. Below are some links to get you started.
BBC - Balance workout with Team GB's Emily Sarsfield
Youtube - 15-Minute Beginner's At-Home Cardio Workout
Youtube - Intense Ab Workout 7 Minutes
The Big White Wall
We are super lucky at City of Glasgow College that all students (and staff!) now have access to an amazing resource called The Big White Wall. The Big White Wall is a digital online space which has lots to offer. You can access:
- A wide range of self-guided courses to do at your own pace including on anxiety and depression
- An anonymous community where members can support each other
- Creative tools to help express how you’re feeling
- Self-assessments & recommended resources
- Access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
- Trained professionals available 24/7 to keep the community safe
To access Big White Wall, please visit the College's website for information on accessing this platform.
College Mental Health and Wellbeing Support
If you need any more support, the College’s has lots of information and resources on Mental Health and Wellbeing which you can find here
The College's counselling team are still offering phone consultations to students. You can learn more about this here
Here are some other great resources for managing anxiety around Coronavirus:
Mind: Coronavirus and your wellbeing
Student Minds: Coronavirus Resources
Huffington Post: Coronavirus Anxiety Is Real – 7 Tips From Therapists On How To Cope
BBC: Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health
5 Ways To Wellbeing: 5 Ways to wellbeing during the age of Covid-19
The Samaritans are there to talk when you need them. You can call them any time on 116 123 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Anxiety UK infoline is there if you need information or advice on dealing with anxiety. Call them on 03444 75 774, text them on 07537 416 905 or use their live chat service.
For advice regarding your physical health, refer to NHS 111 online.