It’s Mental Health Awareness week (18 - 24 May), and there’s never been a more pressing time to focus on your mental health. Read below for a few things you can do to keep your mind healthy while we’re all being told to stay home. Or if you’re a key worker, coming face to face with tough decisions and ongoing challenges everyday, focussing on your mental health is essential to get through these tough times.
If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out. There is a list of useful links at the bottom of this blog post that might help.
1) Stay active
There are a number of ways to stay active. Our first blog, Five Ways To Stay Active While At Home offers a number of useful tips including home workout videos and ways you can get creative while at home.
In addition, there are endless online and virtual options, both available from local fitness instructors as well as online. Check below to find out more about what a few local providers are doing:
The Pickaquoy Centre
Three times a week Picky’s Fitness, Health and Wellbeing Manager, Katie Rafferty, brings you live-streamed workouts through our Facebook page.
You can also catch up on these anytime on our YouTube channel.
Mondays @ 1pm
GRIT Cardio - GRIT™ Cardio is a 30 minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout using just your body weight that improves cardiovascular fitness, increases speed and maximises calorie burn.
Wednesdays @ 1pm
This is #WorkoutWednesday, a 20 – 30 minute workout that changes weekly and can include anything from core focussed workouts to exercises for beginners to more intense bodyweight circuits.
Fridays @ 1pm
GRIT Strength - GRIT™ Strength is a 30-minute high-intensity interval training workout designed to improve strength, cardiovascular fitness and build lean muscle using either a barbell, hand weights or even tins from your cupboard!
Orkney Islands Council
The OIC Sport & Leisure Facebook page is where you can find a number of challenges for you and your kids. As well as sharing what’s going on around Orkney, two of their fitness instructors are live-streaming Fatburn Extreme on their Fatburn Extreme / Gamefit Orkney Facebook page.
Orkney Dance & Fitness
Donna is providing a number of live-streamed classes each week through Zoom. For a great workout, you can join in to her Zumba Fitness, Zumba Gold, Floor Barre and Clubbercise classes. All information and a timetable can be found on the Orkney Dance and Fitness website.
During Mental Health Awareness week all profits from class bookings will go directly to the Orkney Blide Trust.
Adele from Yoga Orkney is providing Yoga, Barre and Pilates based live-streamed classes through Zoom. You can find full details and a timetable on the Yoga Orkney website.
2) Connect with friends and family
Remember, we’re all in this together. Staying connected with your loved ones is essential to help prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness. In addition to regular video chats there are other, more non-traditional, ways to keep in touch. Here are just a few ideas:
- Watch a film together and discuss it like you’re sitting in the same room, or have a Netflix Party which allows users to stream TV shows and movies with friends and family.
- Have a workout buddy to help you stay motivated, or take part in a virtual challenge such as the Picky Lockdown Challenge and post it on your Instagram page.
- Play online games such as Feudal, a virtual form of Scrabble.
3) Support others where you can
Staying in regular contact with loved ones who are living on their own, or come under the ‘vulnerable adult’ category, is one element of giving support. In addition, you can stick a note through a neighbour’s door that includes your name and phone number to let them know you are available to help during this challenging time.
If you want to offer more within the wider community, check out the Voluntary Action Orkney website. They have created an Orkney Information Hub page on their website that provides local guidance, support information and resources.
4) Prioritise sleep and nutrition
Have your sleep patterns changed since lockdown? The importance of sleep can often be underestimated. Sleep is critical to physical health and helps keep the immune system strong. If you get it right, it is also proven to boost emotional and mental wellbeing as well as helping to combat stress and anxiety. Try and keep a routine by going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet also supports your immune system to help fight infection. Our most recently blog, Five Easy Ways To Focus On Nutrition gives you some great tips on healthy snacking as well as meal ideas.
5) Allow yourself to relax
During this challenging time, it’s important to allow yourself to relax and unwind. Things like controlled breathing, meditation and gentle yoga can help. It could be the chance to read that book on the shelf you’ve been eying for years, or immersing yourself in a brand new podcast.
It’s also a chance to watch a new series and films. Check out our blog, Five New Ways To Experience Film At Home for some inspiration.
Orkney Blide Trust
Scottish Association for Mental Health
Mental Health Foundation