BTCA is now providing a Weekly Wellbeing Meeting at 12 noon every Monday for all of its members. We also have free individual ‘Talk it Out’ sessions with the National Manger who is a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Therapist. These sessions are for our members and their families, so we want you to just know that we are here for you.The links for these services are here:One Hour Weekly Wellbeing Meeting (12 noon every Monday)Individual ‘Talk it Out’ Session (Register and book your time slot)We also know that during such uncertain times, it is important to adopt strategies that protect our mental wellbeing. This will not only help you but also your loved ones and your community.To assist further, BTCA has resourced the 7 tips below that we feel can help you:

  1. Take time to reflect on your own feelings

Social distancing and working from home can be a dreadful experience, but it might also mean that you have some space and opportunity to focus on yourself.

Instead of saying, “It is a shame that I can’t be with my friends,” use the time to ask yourself questions like: How do I feel about this current situation? How is it affecting my actions and behaviours?

Don’t judge or be ashamed of your feelings. Understand that it’s okay to feel fear, sadness, frustration, confusion, loneliness or guilt.

  1. Stick to your old routines (as much as possible)

The coronavirus has altered how we live our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean everything has to change.

Stay close to your normal routine by maintaining some resemblance of structure from your pre-quarantine days. If working from home is new to you, start your day the same way you would if you were heading into work.

During a period of constant change, having some sort of familiarity in your daily activities can make life feel more manageable. Studies have also found that our bodies tend to function better when eating, sleeping and exercise patterns are set to a regular schedule.

  1. Go outside

Just because we’ve been advised to stay in as much as possible, it doesn’t mean we need to be imprisoned in our homes. If you find yourself dwelling on your problems and unable to stop, go for a walk — around the block if allowed, or even in your garden if possible. Research says that exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally and mentally, it also contributes to your physical well-being — reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.

  1. Focus only on things you can control

With so much uncertainty in the air, it’s essential to accept that there’s not much you have control of. The most important thing you should be focusing on right now is ensuring the safety of yourself and of those around you.

That means:

Wash your hands often (use sanitizer if you don’t have access to soap and water)
Cover your mouth when you cough and your nose (with a tissue) when you sneeze, then bin any tissue immediately and wash your hands
Avoid touching your face whenever possible
Avoid any non-essential travel
Leave face masks for medical professionals, caretakers and individuals at higher risk of infection
Keep your immune system strong by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and getting an adequate amount of sleep

  1. Embrace the uncertainties and focus on the positive things

Stop obsessing over things like: What will happen next? Will the supermarket shelves be restocked soon? How long will we be trapped in our homes? When will this all end?

Instead, focus on the positive and uplifting moments. For example, despite Italy being one of the worst affected countries by COVID-19, Italians were singing songs from their windows to boost morale. Even in the darkest of times, we must try to find some light and we will get through this together. Keep well, look after each other and remember social distancing!!

  1. Stay connected

Don’t isolate yourself completely. According to studies, loneliness can be as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Keep in touch with friends, family, neighbours and maybe even your co-workers. Do it through Skype, phone calls, texting, email or any other form of digital communication. Ask how they’re doing and let them know how you’re doing. Offer support, love and encouragement.

As humans, we are wired to rely on social connection. Staying connected helps us manage stress and guards us against unhealthy coping mechanisms, like drinking and eating too much.

  1. Count your blessings

Gratefulness is a powerful tool. Be thankful for your health, body and friends and family.

And don’t forget to thank the people who are facing the coronavirus head-on: From doctors and nurses to delivery workers and supermarket staff, these are the heroes who are knowingly putting themselves at risk to serve our community.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

Best wishes

The BTCA Team

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