Looking after your wellbeing during COVID-19
Some of us may be struggling with worries, feeling more emotional, or experiencing difficult thoughts, perhaps not entirely sure how to deal with all these sensations
Given the circumstances, it’s normal to feel catapulted into worrying cycles and experience negative thoughts and emotions. But what if it becomes too overwhelming?
Here are some of the techniques that Oodlers are learning and doing to keep their mental wellbeing in check, we thought you might find them useful:
1. Stop technique
Rooted in mindfulness, the STOP technique helps defuse stress and gain clarity. It’s particularly helpful when experiencing cerebral overdrive (rumination, constant worrying) and is highly effective for visual individuals.
2. Breathing exercises
Deep breathing helps lower emotional arousal and foster relaxation. What is important is that your out-breath is longer than your in-breath, as it’s through the out-breath that our emotional response is regulated. Also, counting while breathing takes your mind off your thoughts. Give a try to our favourite breathing technique, called “7-11”.
- Breathe in for a count of 7, breathe out for a count of 11 (if it’s too difficult do 3-5, or 5-7 and practice to slowly work your way up).
- Use your diaphragm (your stomach rises and falls as you breathe) as this is how the stimulation really happens.
- Continue for a few minutes and practice regularly.
Here is a helpful video to guide you.
3. Connecting with others
While we may be physically isolated, we have many ways to remain connected. At Oodle, we make sure to check in with one another, for example during our cherished Tea@Three, where colleagues come together over a cup of tea to take a break and talk about non-work topics.
We also find time in our meetings to get to know each other more, and leave space for some banter and healthy chit chat. Human beings need community to thrive emotionally and mentally – so stay connected!
Call a friend or a family member, or make yourself available for someone who may need more support in these difficult times. We are in this together!
If you need some additional support and advice, consult the NHS for a list of charities and organisations that can help with mental health problems.