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Maintaining your Mental Health - Ways to Destress and Unwind 

We all understand the need to #stayhome and save lives but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.  The pressures of working from home or staying safe at work, worries about job stability, juggling home schooling, concern for older or distant family members and the very real threat of catching the virus all take their toll on your mental well-being.  Some of the regular stress relievers - going to the gym, nights out with friends, spending time with family - are just not possible at the moment. However there are options out there to help you maintain your mental health without putting your physical health at risk.

 

Home Exercise

There are many YouTube channels offering at home workouts without subscriptions, so you can pull up a 30 min workout at a time to suit you. Sweat, stretch or dance it out with cardio, yoga or fun dance workouts - try Yoga with Adriene, Fitness Blender or kick the kids off the Xbox and give Just Dance a go (if you don’t have an Xbox you can watch and follow along the videos on YouTube) 

 

Entertainment

If your way of relaxing was to enjoy a night at a show, you can now do this from home!  Playbill has 15 Broadway musicals that you can watch online, and London’s National Theatre is broadcasting recordings of one of their plays each week for free on YouTube - coming up you can enjoy Jane Eyre, Treasure Island and Twelfth Night from the comfort of your couch!

 

Reading

With the libraries closed you might be running out of reading material, but many of our local libraries have digital books you can check out.  You can also get free audio books, movies and more.

 

Connect with Friends and Family (virtually)

While we can’t socialize in person, it’s never been easier to stay in touch with friends and family.  Technology such as FaceTime and Zoom means we can still “see” parents, grandparents, cousins and colleagues to check in and catch up on their news.  Why not schedule a regular game night or cocktail hour - it helps to share experiences and keep connections going while you are apart.

 

Guided Meditation

Meditation is a great way to catch your breath and unwind from a stressful situation, or to get your focus at the start of the day.  If you’ve never tried it before, this article on How to Meditate is a good place to start.  There are also apps that can walk you through a guided meditation - Calm gets great reviews for help with getting to sleep.

 

However you choose to relax, make sure you take some time each day for yourself.  Who knows, maybe some of these relaxing habits might find a place in your regular routine?

 

If you or someone you know is struggling, contact Interface, Winchester's mental health referral helpline, on 888-244-6843. Calls are free and confidential.

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