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Some tips to get you through stress awareness month?

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collage of four photos with the words our lives in lockdown on the top layer

CS Local Scotland Wellbeing network have put their heads together to share some practical ideas to help make our lives in lockdown less stressful and anxious during the coronavirus Covid-19 crisis.

It is important to take care of your mind as well as your body whether you are at home or at work.  Remember, this situation is temporary and for most of us, these feelings will pass.

The tips and advice here are things you can do now to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel. Make sure you get further support if you feel you need to speak to someone the Charity for Civil Servants are there for you as are many other partner organisations.

Anxiety UK recommends using the APPLE technique to deal with anxiety and worries.

  • acknowledge - notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind
  • pause - do not react as you normally do, pause and breathe
  • pull back - tell yourself this is just the worry talking.  Your thoughts are not facts and they are not always helpful, however real they seem
  • let go - of the thought or feeling.  All thoughts and feelings are temporary and will pass.  You don’t have to respond to them.  You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud
  • explore - the present moment, because right now that is all that is real.  Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing.  Notice the ground beneath you.  Notice what sounds you can hear, right now.  Then shift your focus of attention to your next activity

Carers UK has further advice on creating a contingency plan

Stay connected with others when staying at home

Maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family while you are all staying at home – by phone, instant messaging, video calls or social media – whether it is people you see regularly or connecting with old friends.  Other people are finding the situation difficult, so staying in touch could help them too

Talk about your worries

It is normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember: it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.

Look after your body

Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel.  At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that end up making you feel worse.  Try to eat healthy, well balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking or drugs and try not to drink too much alcohol.   You can leave your house, alone or with members of your household for 1 form of exercise a day –

Keep you mind active

 Try to focus on your favourite hobby if it is something you can still do at home. If not, picking something new to learn at home might help. Read, write, play games, do crosswords, complete sudoku puzzles, finish jigsaws, or try drawing and painting. Whatever it is, find something that works for you. Future Learn offers free courses and ideas for keeping occupied during the lockdown.

Whether at home or in the office please remember to keep a safe 2-metre distance from others.

Most government departments at this time are sharing best practises and working together to make a difference and making the Civil Service an even better place to work.

If you have any ideas you would like to share, please leave a comment below or email Karen Ludlow or Loudelle Johnstone.

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