At the start of the third lockdown, Sky News invited psychotherapist, Lucy Beresford, onto its morning programme to talk about how to survive ‘Lockdown 3.0’, with a particular focus on improving mental health during this challenging phase of the coronavirus pandemic.
Acknowledging how worrying this time can be for people, she talked about the difference between understanding what you can control and what you can’t control. She advised viewers to focus on what they can control. Here are some examples she shared:
1. Sleep Well
Good sleep is fundamental to physical and psychological wellbeing. However, she pointed out that the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic has led to an increase in sleep disorders. To improve quality of sleep, she advises, ensure your day has a structure and take time to unwind by choosing a calming activity that you enjoy effortlessly such as reading a book or taking a bath.
2. Eat Well
Make sure to eat healthily, with a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables and to drink plenty of water. Minimising high-sugar foods as well as caffeine and alcohol can help to improve your mood, although this is easier said than done...
3. Keep Fit
Exercising and staying active for at least 20 minutes a day can have huge benefits not just on cardiovascular health but also on mental health, boosting levels of the feel-good hormone, serotonin, in the brain, which is known to elevate mood.
4. Get Closer to Nature
Reap the benefits of the natural world on your mental health by taking time to notice the beautiful, intricate elements of nature; the trees, flowers, grass, birds, insects. Appreciating the magic of these things can be spiritually enriching.
With this advice in mind, I took my family on a long country walk to get some exercise and nature. Tick, tick. It is rare at this time of year to spend so much time outdoors in the cold weather so wrapping up warm is a necessity.
That is why the whole family wears Black.co.uk's cashmere slouch beanies on our wintry lockdown walks. They provide the most comforting warmth and a much welcome sense of luxury in a range of classic, earthy colours and allow us to feel good in the most testing times.
Perhaps that’s something Lucy should add to her list of things we can control: wear more cashmere!