Home We Are Laois Jamie Dowling: Five mental health tips for helping you through lockdown

Jamie Dowling: Five mental health tips for helping you through lockdown

As we enter into six weeks of lockdown and enter into the Winter months – it is vital everyone takes care of their mental health.

With the lockdown causing all sorts of anxiety for people whether it’s losing their jobs or losing a loved one – it’s more important then ever that we as a nation look after our mental health.

So I’ve come up with five important tips on how to maintain our mental health in these difficult times.

Stay informed but set limits for news

Social media in the current climate can cause a great deal of anxiety to young and old. There is so much information, whether it’s rumours or facts, about the virus and these days it’s usually negative.

Be careful what you read and make sure you read reliable sources if you’re going to read anything.

Also don’t keep watching the news all day or listening to the radio all day either. You will see a difference in your day.

Keep up your healthy routine

I know it’s hard, but most people’s routine will go out the window in the next six weeks. It’s so important to have structure to your day as best as you can.

It’s so important to pay attention to your needs and feeling during this stressful time. Do something to relax yourself, read a book, exercise – whether its running, walking or cycling. If none of this helps, then try mindfulness to relax the body.

Keeping a routine is probably the most important thing to get through this and take one day at a time.

Stay in Contact with others

During these difficult times, family and friends are a good source of support. Remember talking to someone can ease the burden and also relieve anxiety.

Use technology whether its Zoom, Facetime or Skype to keep in contact if your family aren’t living with you. You don’t have to appear to be strong or try to cope by yourself. Just talk.


Keep a journal and write your positive qualities in your journal. Write as many positive things about yourself as you can think of – there is no limit.

If you run out of steam, take a break. Come back to it over the course of a few days, until you have a substantial list of your positives.

Get help from a trusted friend or family member. Two heads are better than one and an outsider might have a different perspective of you, than you do of yourself.  Who knows what nice things you might discover about yourself.

Don’t do this exercise for the sake of it.  Reflect on what you have written at the end of the day, week, or month.

Let all the positive qualities pile up and ‘sink in.’ This is really important so that you learn to take notice of these things and feel more comfortable acknowledging them.

So when you are feeling down – have a look at all the positives you have written in the journal which will help improve your mood.

Goal Setting

The best kind of goals to set are SMART goals, meaning that your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. What goals you might achieve from social distancing.

Whether its losing weight, or learning a new instrument, setting goals every day is vital for motivation and for your mental health.

There are five important tips that if you try to achieve these everyday – it will go a long way to maintaining your mental health during this tough time.

Remember we are in this together and as a community, county and country we will get through these times.

SEE ALSO – Talking Sport Podcast: Zach Tuohy in grand final – family memories, the view from Geelong, the scale of his achievement and playing with club and county

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