This week it’s Men’s Health Week, so we’re talking about how to cope with loneliness and isolation made worse by the current situation.
Boredom and lack of purpose are some of the leading causes of depression, anxiety and stress, and even the introverts who liked the idea of no human contact for a few months (I know I fall into that bracket) are starting to feel the effects of lockdown.
Being cooped up with the fam, as much as we love them, can be trying at times. And even though it’s hard to open up about your feelings and ask for help, at the moment it’s more important than ever.
Here are four things you can do to look after your mental health and deal with stress, anxiety and isolation in lockdown:
1. Listen to depressing music
Now I know what you’re thinking; surely this would just make me feel even more depressed? Everybody has their own way of dealing with their mental health, but actually, when it comes to depression, listening to sad music can be very beneficial. It allows you to identify with the song lyrics and think about why you’re feeling the way you do, taking comfort in the fact that someone else has felt it too.
2. Do a social media detox
We’ve all heard this one before and, let’s face it, it never lasts long before FOMO rears its ugly head. But a Facebook study has found that the two most common emotions to feel when scrolling through a timeline are loneliness and depression. Maybe it is worth switching off for a while after all.
Women are much more likely than men to speak to a trusted friend if something is troubling them, which is why communication is so crucial for us guys. Talking about our problems is so beneficial for mental wellbeing and being deprived of human contact can have a severe impact on our mood and feelings. Use apps like Houseparty to stay connected, as they focus purely on interaction (unlike Snapchat or Instagram which also show news and other distractions). And if you have a more personal issue that you don’t feel you can talk to your mates about? Take a look at CALM. They offer a great support system for men of all ages going through tough times as well as a direct line to someone who can help.
4. Do stuff
Whether a hobby like gardening or a project such as giving your room a makeover. Or you could combine the two - studies have shown that your overall mood can be lifted with nature, so think about adding a few plants to your room to give a more calming feel. Planning and completing a project gives you a sense of purpose and helps to re-invigorate your motivation levels, plus you get a cool new room!
5. And last but by no means least, this tip is the most underestimated thing to do when you’re stressed.
I hope this helps♬ original sound - josiah.hughes
Are you struggling with your mental health in lockdown? We’ve put together some resources to help if you don’t know where to turn. And make your voice heard - let us know how you’re coping by joining our student panel.