Many people struggle with mental health challenges, sometimes temporarily during a crisis, whether a global one such as Covid 19 or a personal one, during other stressful periods in life or sometimes due to more chronic, long-term conditions.
Here are some tips that may help alleviate some of the anxiety, loneliness or depression that anyone may experience at this time, but some of which may also be useful beyond the current crisis.
Mindfulness and meditation
Regardless of what is occurring in the world or our external lives, it is often our thoughts and emotions that can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness and meditation can have many benefits for managing these unhelpful thoughts and feelings, as well as improving sleep, reducing chronic pain, lowering blood pressure and helping to feel more relaxed and happier.
Check out Smiling Mind, Stop Breathe Think or WTF is mindfulness for some simple guided mindfulness exercises. They have free apps on IOS and Android as well as channels on YouTube, if you prefer to follow a video.
If you are on Instagram, you could follow A-SPACE: a meditation studio with free live classes every morning at 8am.
And just remember, you don’t need to sit and meditate for an hour to reap the benefits, just 5 – 10 minutes once or twice per day can make a big difference!
Keeping our minds active and stimulated is vital for everybody. Often this occurs as a natural part of our day such as when working, studying, or reading. When it comes to cognitive wellbeing the key message is to ‘use it or lose it’. Keeping ourselves mentally active over a long period of time will help build a ‘cognitive reserve’. This helps the brain to compensate for damage caused by HD which means that it can help prevent early cognitive decline.
Some ways you can exercise your brain is by reading, doing puzzles, learning something new or beginning a new hobby, avoiding using a calculator or playing games that require you to use your memory.
You can also find many resources online including apps for your phone. We have included a short list below to get you started: