Take-5 Thursday: Supporting your physical and mental health

9 Apr 2020

As the Coronavirus pandemic rolls on, and with no end to the lockdown in sight, people’s health, wealth, and mental wellbeing are being further tested.

But making small changes or doing simple things can help create good habits or give yourself some breathing space. Why not take-5 and have a read through some of these suggestions to benefit your physical and mental health.

Often overlooked, walking is a simple way to not only get daily exercise but clear your mind. Psychologists from Stamford University found that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout when it comes to relieving the symptoms of anxiety.

You can use this time to take in your surroundings, catch up on phone calls, or listen to your favourite music or podcasts (more on podcasts later).

You can also use your walks to build up speed or distance if you’re wanting to challenge yourself physically. No matter how you make use of your walks, strap on some comfortable shoes or trainers and pound your stresses away.

YouTube for fitness
YouTube allows you to watch hours of funny cat videos, re-watch your favourite performances from Top of the Pops, or learn how to do nearly any task you can think of. But it also contains an endless treasure trove of videos to help you turn your living room (or any room) into an exercise class or spiritual retreat for yoga.

You can find videos for any level from complete beginner to expert. So whether you’re trying yoga for the first time, returning to a previous love, or simply trying to maintain your pre-lockdown activity levels YouTube will undoubtedly have some videos to give you an escape.

Already loved by millions, podcasts are a free and easy to access way to help relieve stress or provide some escapism. Categories range from mindset to true crime, science to fiction. Dive deeper into your existing interests or discover something new with a podcast.

Serving suggestion: Complements daily walks.

Mobile phone Apps
As with podcasts, there’s simply too many apps to mention. But when focusing on your metal health or mindfulness then apps like Calm or Headspace are extremely popular for finding some calm within your environment.

There’s also a wealth of app to support your physical health. Why not take your daily walking up a notch by using a Couch-to-5K app for any budding runners out there.

If you need to talk
As the BT adverts from the 90’s said, “It’s good to talk”. Whether you’re talking directly about your feelings or simply laughing with friends. Talking to friends, family and colleagues can be cathartic, cleansing, and help re-frame your thoughts and feelings.

Similarly, the RMR team are here to offer a listening ear should you need it at any point.

Below are details on services and organisations that offer help and support directly if required:

The Samaritans
The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day - in full confidence.
Call 116 123 - it's FREE

Rethink Mental Illness

You can call the Rethink advice and information line Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm for practical advice on:

  • different types of therapy and support
  • benefits, debt, money issues

Call Rethink on 0300 5000 927 (calls are charged at your local rate).

Mind offer an information line to answer questions about a range of mental health topics
Call the Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393 (UK landline calls are charged at local rates, and charges from mobile phones will vary considerably).