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6 Wellbeing Tips to Improve Mental Health during Lockdown

There’s no denying that this lockdown has been tough and, as private family doctors, we understand that it has affected people of all ages. It’s so important to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health during this time and remember to be kind to ourselves.

It’s common to feel anxious, bored, lonely, unsure, frustrated or worried, and this is okay – there is no ‘right way’ to live through a global pandemic! For most, these uneasy emotions pass over time, but we thought we would share our advice on how you can help improve mental wellbeing at home.

As private family doctors, we encourage you to reach out for further support if you feel like you need it, whether that be speaking to a friend or family member, or getting in touch with your GP. If you’d like to speak to one of our private doctors, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0333 050 7338. Find out more about membership here.

1. Set a routine

For many, the loss of routine during lockdown has been particularly difficult. However, by setting simple tasks throughout the day, we can help ourselves feel more productive and structured. From making the bed to walking the dog, eating breakfast to going for a walk, these tasks don’t have to be difficult, but it’s all part of regaining a sense of control during these uncertain times.

2. Move your body

Exercise can ease anxiety levels and getting outdoors in the fresh air can help boost our immune systems. Taking a simple walk is all it takes to release those endorphins!

You could also partake in some at-home workouts and there are lots of instructional videos to follow online.

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3. Stay in touch

It can sometimes feel difficult, but keeping in touch with your friends and family is really important. Whether it’s a phone call, text, or video call, there are lots of ways to keep the connection.

As private family doctors, we often direct our patients to for self-help advice. Connecting with other people who are going through similar experiences is often helpful; you’re not alone.

Always seek medical help if you need further support; our private doctors have urgent, flexible and out-of-hours appointments, and we also offer home visits. Find out more about becoming a member here.

4. Spend time away from your screen

Although it’s good to be in the loop with what’s going on, make sure to take time away from news sources, social media sites and television screens every once in a while. Constant news updates can often feel overwhelming, especially when we have little control over them. You could turn off news app notifications, set dedicated time away from your phone, and swap the TV for your favourite podcast in the evenings.

The Forest app helps you stay off your phone screen and focus on life around you. In the app, you plant a virtual tree, which will grow as you stay off your phone – eventually, you could grow a whole virtual forest!

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5. Make time for yourself

Whether you’re working from home, home-schooling the kids, or have a never-ending to-do list, it’s often easy to forget to make time for yourself. Dedicating as little as 10 minutes of the day, first thing in the morning or last thing at night, can make a big difference. The Headspace app has guided meditations and mindfulness techniques, which can really help you focus on the present.

As well as this, what we eat has a big impact on how we feel so to ensure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet, set aside some time to plan out your meals for the week ahead.

6. Get a good night’s sleep

As private family doctors, we know that getting a full night’s sleep isn’t always easy. Here are a few simple ways you can help yourself ‘switch off’:

  • Stay away from screens at least an hour before bedtime
  • Have a warm bath
  • Read a book instead of scrolling through social media
  • Listen to a podcast or audiobook – the Calm app has some brilliant materials to listen to before you sleep, from nature sounds to relaxing music, sleep meditations to bedtime stories.
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Here at Linbury Doctors, our team of private GPs are experienced in general practise as well as mental health. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a member, get in touch with us on 0333 050 7338.

Meet the Linbury team:

Private GPs – Dr Hala, Dr Lucy, Dr Rachel

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Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

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As private family doctors, we always put our patients’ healthcare at the core of everything we do. With family memberships available, we care holistically for all ages and are experienced in mental health and wellbeing. Contact us on 0333 050 7338 to find out more.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. What a year it has been for our children and adolescents missing months of schooling, social interaction and life as we once knew it. 

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week was launched in 2015 by Place2be’s charity to highlight the importance of children’s mental health. 

Mental health problems can arise at any time. Before the pandemic, research suggested that half of mental health problems are developed by mid-teens. Since the pandemic, mental health problems in children have been on the rise

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This year, Place2be’s theme is EXPRESS YOURSELF and encouraging children to express themselves.

We need to enable our children to express themselves. Listening to them and encouraging them to talk about their feelings acknowledge them and normalise the feelings. 

  • Take time to listen to them, listen to how they feel and encourage them to talk. 
  • Set an example by sharing how you are feeling and how you look after yourself and your mental wellbeing, what works for us and how they can adapt similar strategies.
  • Remind them that their thoughts and feelings are important

The lockdown and its Effects:

Here at Linbury, one of the joys of being a private family doctor is that we get to know our patients and families really well, especially during the lockdown period where we continue to carry out home visits with full PPE. We develop a personal relationship with our patients and the whole family. 

During my visits last week, I was in awe to see how all the children of the families I look after have adapted to this new normal. But it also made me feel sad for some of them and the big events they are missing in their lives, especially the adolescents; those who would have been sitting big exams; having big prom parties with their friends; and engaging in sporting events such as netball and rugby tournaments.

The impact on our children can last for years to come so it is even more important to support them, let them express their feelings and guide them through these times. 

How can we Help the Children Adapt During Lockdown?

Routine: Try and stick to a schedule. Schools have done brilliantly to provide a routine in the school day, so stick to it as much as possible to help structure the day. 

Hobbies: If your children can carry on with their hobbies and the things they enjoy, ensure to make time for it. You can find music lessons online, practise favourite sports with family in the garden, or take up a new hobby! My children have joined me in running at the weekends and they aim to run 5km at a good time. You could also get involved and join in with a hobby that your children enjoy. Time outdoors is really important.

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Friends and family: Ensure that your children stay in touch with their friends during school live lessons or set up virtual calls with them at the weekend. Write a letter to grandparents or other family members, and share some home school work with them. 

Finally, don’t ever hesitate to ask for help. As private family doctors, we will always be happy to chat through any concerns and guide you. So, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0333 050 7338. We always put our patients at the core of everything we do.