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CALM Ambassadors give their top tips on how to look out for yourself

In these utterly weird times, looking after our physical and mental well being is more important than ever. Cue the CALM ambassador crew with their tips for looking out for yourself and doing everything you can to be mentally healthy.

Ben Dave was working from home during lockdown, a tough ask when you head up a run club and government restrictions mean only members of the same household can run together. That’s not stopping him though: 

“I run a run crew, but we’re encouraging everyone to keep running and share their selfies online to keep connected.”

His advice?

“Keep your mind and body as healthy as you can. Keep moving and eat as well as you possibly can, if you can beat the queues at Tesco that is!”

Thanks Ben, we might not be able to resist a couple of beers though!

Jonny Sharples has been working from home for years, but that doesn’t mean the pandemic isn’t having an impact. 

“I struggle to stay motivated and focused on work while at home, but also with making sure I take enough breaks and don’t just wake up, work, and go back to sleep with no time for myself. It’s a hard balance to strike and one I still find challenging after many years of working from home.”

So there you have it, no need to feel guilty for not being 134% productive while you’re working from home in much less than normal circumstances.

How’s Jonny coping? Other than twitter, Jonny’s been keeping in touch with his mates and colleagues:  

“If you’re finding yourself working from home when you would usually be in an office environment, it’s important to try and keep in contact with your colleagues as best you can; through Zoom, Skype or Slack, through telephone calls, emails, texts or WhatsApp. And not just about work related things either. It’s important to try and retain the communications you would have when working in your office, and a lot of that involves much more casual conversations.”

Ace. We were worried our banter with @Dave would get us in trouble… 

 

Whatever job you do, these unprecedented times have come with their own unique challenges. If you’re struggling with anxieties around work, you’re not alone. 

Marvin Sordell is finding it difficult “not to overthink about what is going to be happening with work”, but is taking each day one step at a time, “controlling the controllables like getting into a good daily routine and fitting in exercise where possible.” 

Words of wisdom from Marvin, which we’re definitely going to be taking on board. 

 

How has it taken us this long to tell you to talk to each other. What were we thinking? Thanks RKZ for reminding us! 

Photographer and Fashionista RKZ and his partner are both trying to keep on top of their mental wellbeing during these weird times:

“I’m trying not to slip into a depressive or lonely state, and also trying to make sure I’m being supportive to my wife who suffers from anxiety. I try to set a to do list every morning so I’ve accomplished something whilst being indoors.

“It’s a great opportunity to talk to people – on the phone, via social, Skype, FaceTime etc. It’s important in particular to check in on older relatives, and friends who live alone or who work in healthcare. “

Ok we hear you, talking is on our to do list.

 

Cecilia is a writer and poet, but she’s kind of sick of people telling her that ‘now’s the time to be productive.’ While it’s great if you can summon your creative juices, she thinks it’s ok to, well, not. 

“There’s nothing wrong with resting a little while you’re stuck at home. Maybe it’s ok to just read a book or watch that series everyone has been talking about .Maybe you want to organise your chest of drawers because you find it therapeutic, or just cook things and take your time over it. I’m feeling pretty uninspired at the moment, so I’m just not beating myself up about that. I’m reading. I’m resting. These are things I don’t usually get to do.”

As things start to ease and we enter a newer, ‘new normal’, there’s no ‘right’ way to deal with this. It’s an unprecedented situation so you’re not expected to know how to respond or carry on as normal. You’re allowed to be frightened or angry or anxious. Be kind to yourself. Do things that relax you and make you happy.

Can you sum that up though Cecilia? 

“Don’t be a dick to yourself.”

There’s a reason she’s a poet.

 

One half of art duo the Connor Brothers, James Golding, is an artistic genius, so it’s no surprise that creativity is one of his go-to ways to look after his mental wellbeing. 

I try to do something creative everyday. Being creative doesn’t have to mean painting or making music. I can feel the same sense of creativity with Lego or cooking, well perhaps not the same but almost. I love making music. It keeps me connected with myself. I’m going to see this period of isolation as a positive time to indulge in something I never normally get enough time to do.” 

But it’s not just art, James finds mediation helps his “monkey mind chatter”. 

He said “Stretch everyday for 20 minutes, meditate if you can. The deep breathing from meditation is so healthy for your mind even if you suffer from excessive monkey mind chatter like I do. It doesn’t matter if you can’t clear your mind, the breathing is the key.”

 

Presenter and pro skater James might not be out on the board as much as he’s used to, but he’s using these weird times to try some new things. 

“Find the things that make you happy – and find new things too! I’ve ended up running a lot more which is great, I’ve created a tonne of Spotify playlists, and I’ve been getting creative with content creation from home.”

You can listen to James’ Spotify playlist here. 

 

Jack Rooke is all about the funny stuff, but he’s pretty serious about looking after yourself when our usual comedy shows or gigs still aren’t possible – and a big part of that is staving off the boredom for him. How? Well Jack’s done us a list – he’s top like that.

FILM: Matilda – because it’s the greatest film ever made. Danny DeVito is a genius.
SONG: Anything by Dolly Parton will get you through lockdown. The podcast Dolly Parton’s America has been getting me through!
BOOK: Help by Simon Amstell is one of my all time faves. A very funny, dry memoir about sexuality, sadness and taking drugs. Wholeheartedly recommended.
TV SHOW: Broad City – It’s a comedy central US show about two New Yorkers who get up to all sorts of mischief. It’s the funniest show. 

While there’s loads we can’t control right now, what you watch and consume is well and truly up to you – and that involves switching off too. Jack is limiting how much he catches up with the rolling news. 

“Nina Hussain and Huw Edwards seem like lovely lads, but they’re also backed by high-drama news sequences and relatively hyperbolic TV news reporting and that’s not always helpful. Just find out the basic facts and be done with it.” 

 

Model, body positivity influencer and all round legend Shareefa J  has summed it all up with her  handy tick list. 

– Keep a daily routine

– Get outside to exercise if you can, if not a daily inside routine or garden routine would work

– Eat a balanced diet 

– Set some goals

– Stay connected

– Make sure to have some “me” time- keep a diary or journal

– Meditate

– Only watch essential news

Looking for more tips for this strange time? 

Read more tips for this challenging time

Find out more about supporting CALM from home

Learn more about our approach to the current coronavirus outbreak. 

And if you’re struggling…

There’s lots to think about right now. From financial worries, to anxiety around you and your loved ones’ health – it’s easy for thoughts to become overwhelming.

Whatever’s getting you down, our free, anonymous and confidential webchat and helpline services are open from 5pm to midnight for anyone who needs to talk.

Find support here. 

It’s simple. No, really. No navigating the underground, missing your stop on the bus, or forking out for a ride home. All you need is your phone and, well, that’s all you need.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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