Making good mental health a priority

Tuesday 21st April 2020

Marie blog

Being away from loved ones has made this a really challenging time as people describe feeling more and more isolated, as well as dealing with the general anxiety this situation can bring. It’s important to realise that these feelings can start to have a negative impact on our mental health so here, our centre administrator, Marie Beech tells us what she has been doing to make sure she looks after her emotional wellbeing and remains positive during this period of social distancing and working from home.
This has been a very strange time for everyone, and like many people I have been kept busy working my normal hours from home but also schooling and entertaining my daughter, Ellie. This has become easier as my husband in now at home too, so he has taken over on the childcare front and they have been doing all sorts from schoolwork, playing games, building cardboard creations and they’ve even cleaned out the shed together!
My eldest daughter lives with her friend so I am in contact with her every other day by phone and we all keep in contact with everyday life on snapchat which really helps a lot.  I am also calling my parents and in laws and we go to the shops for them, too.
Find what works for you
Despite keeping busy with work and usual family life, I have been experiencing anxiety in the middle of the night so my trick is to play Candy Crush with the brightness turned right down. It stops me thinking and tires my eyes and I drop off again after a while. I’m not suggesting this would work for everyone but it is important that you find something to help your mind switch of from overthinking as most of us tend to do
Trying to keep calm and relaxed is hard during these times but having lots of warm baths and not listening to the news all the time is definitely helping me. It’s also a good idea to get out into the any outdoor space whenever you can to get some fresh air and ensure you don’t get cabin fever! We have been eating quite healthily and managed so far to keep up the fruit and veg as this is also important for your well-being.  Exercise is a must, even if it is just a small walk, and there are so many free exercise programmes at the moment like Joe Wicks for the kids, or Davina McCall for adults so it’s very easy to access
I know that social media can often be portrayed as a bad thing but it has come in quite useful lately and a good way of taking part in fun activities such as live pub quizzes or keeping Ellie’s school informed about what we are doing at home.
Keeping busy with work
I have found keeping to a routine really helpful when it comes to work which is generally helping me feel more in control of everything so I’m less anxious about the uncertainty. I start and finish work at the same time everyday as I usually would but I make sure I have an hours lunch away from the laptop.  If I didn’t, I would slip into laziness and would never get anything done!
I have settled into a working area on my own so I can concentrate and work through my daily tasks – although home internet speed can be a problem on occasion! Despite Lakeside Village being closed, I still have to take care of the all the administration side of the centre such as the invoices, payments and general admin. There is plenty to be doing and that is giving me a focus.
Looking forward
Working at Lakeside Village means being part of the family, including the cleaning and security team.  We all work together to keep the centre running and we are very passionate about it in our own ways. Thinking about all these happy times, seeing my colleagues again and the thought of having conversations with our stores is keeping me positive and upbeat.
I can’t wait to see life happening again. It was very sad closing the play areas and cafes at Lakeside Village as this is where you see people socialising and enjoying themselves so it will be great to see these being used again and watch the children enjoying the facilities.
But in the meantime, listening to the Government advice is vital as this will all go on longer if we don’t do what is asked. It is so important to keep ourselves happy and healthy and enjoy this time with our family as we are never blessed with so much time with our loved ones.