To improve or maintain your wellbeing, it’s important to ensure its foundations are strong. As we go through challenges, such as the coronavirus pandemic, it’s worthwhile paying attention to each of the self-care components that underpin our mental health. Sometimes we can underestimate the importance of these, but they are foundations of health.

  1. Sleep
    Our sleep routine and practices are more important than ever. Sleep aids our mental stability and assists our energy levels. Getting up at the same time each day and keeping your usual night-time routine are important. Watch out for alcohol, caffeine and nicotine consumption.
  2. Routine
    Try to create some structure in your day. Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. Have an exercise routine, leisure pursuits, and a focus on eating well and taking time out to relax.
  3. Exercise
    Just 30 minutes per day of walking can help boost your mood and improve your health.
  4. Relaxing activities
    Explore relaxation or wellness programs, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Schedule regular times for these and other healthy and relaxing activities.
  5. Nutrition
    In this stressful time, our bodies need a good range of healthy and nutritious foods. Be mindful of the not so nutritious food and fluids that we might gravitate towards. Perhaps reflect on what you may have increased or decreased since the change in routine.
  6. Social connection
    There has been a lot in the media about maintaining social connection in this time of physical distancing due to COVID-19. It is important to keep in touch with more than those at home. Finding creative ways to connect is important. Keep in touch with people who can provide emotional support and practical help.

An additional component to consider: Meaningful activity

Meaningful activity assists our wellbeing, and this can look different for different people. It might be that your meaningful activity right now is adjusting your business to fit the current parameters or it may be assisting others. The main thing about this is that it can give you purpose and a focus. This may even be learning something new or pulling out an old hobby.

Download the six components of wellbeing as a part of our free Navigating Our Wellbeing resource.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Monique Jones is a mental health nurse and research officer working at the Thompson Institute, where she is integral to developing new treatment methods for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidality. She has extensive clinical experience working in a variety of mental health settings in both New Zealand and Australia.