Jodie Hill Managing Director and Solicitor from Thrive Law shares how she manages her mental health in lockdown to help develop our own strategies to thrive.

During this difficult and uncertain time, it is crucial to take care of our mental health. This can be difficult for many who already suffer as not only are we all adjusting to new circumstances and ways of living, we also have the added stress of further stressful life challenges e.g. job cuts, childcare etc. Social distancing and self-isolating appear simple instructions from the government in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. However, refraining from seeing your close friends and family who you see often is not an easy task, especially for those who rely on this to better their mental health.

I am going to share with you some tips that I practice myself on a day to day basis to improve my mental health through this pandemic. Most people are going to suffer, even if they do not have a mental health problem. The first and most important is consistency, consistency really is key. I was feeling really overwhelmed thinking that I had to fit all these things into one day, one hour of yoga, one hour of journaling etc. it just didn’t seem possible. I decided to cut it down to what I could actually handle, I didn’t need to do an hour of everything as long as I did it! I started with 5 minutes a day of yoga, meditation and journaling and I realised that it was so much easier and because this was easier I managed to successfully do it every day and then I built this up to 10 minutes and now 20 minutes and now I am at a place where I am mixing it up and sometimes I will go on a run or another form of exercise!

This brings me onto tip number two! I find exercise so therapeutic for me, some people don’t like exercise which is fine. There are different ways in which you can do this and I you don’t have to go and do a really intense HIIT workout, you can go outside for a nice walk and enjoy the fresh air. With that being said, tip number three… go outdoors!!! The weather has been beautiful the past few weeks, now is the time to utilise that. Use your one hour that you’re allowed out to get some fresh air, have a sit down, read a book. The vitamin D is really good for you and the greenery is also really good for your mental health, so really try to go out for your hour whether it is to exercise or not!

The fourth tip is listening to a podcast! You can do this whilst sitting outside, on your break or whilst you are exercising. Podcasts really help me get into a positive mind set of focusing on what I am going to do and how I am going to do it. The final tip I have for you all and the most important is to BE KIND. Be kind to yourself, be kind to the people around you, because right now it is really hard, and everyone is feeling it. We are our own worst enemies at times, and we are comparing ourselves to what we see other people doing! Some people are choosing to focus this extra time on fitness or baking or a new business venture, but it is important to remember to do what is right for you, it doesn’t matter what others are doing around you. Don’t be hard on yourself and be kind and you will notice the difference.

I hope these tips have helped you and I want you to go and think of three things that you can do every day that will help improve your mental wellbeing.