Mental Health Tips for Cabin Fever

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With the need for people to continue to function and maintain good mental and physical health whilst self-isolating during the current challenges of Covid-19, here are a few pointers from Kay Hutchison, author My Life In Thirty Seven Therapies: From Yoga To Hypnosis and Why Voodoo is Never the Answer for right now and the approach of Mental Health Awareness Month in May to keep us positively focused and calm.

Many of the therapies she covers in her book can also be practiced at home, remotely or by video link, so here are a few ideas to get you started.  We know about telemedicine but how about teletherapy?

Note: Where necessary check out the credentials and qualifications of the therapists you contact – if they are listed on the registers of one of the US organizations that train and provide certification to a high standard, you should be on safe ground.

1. Counseling/psychotherapy – someone professional to talk to if you are feeling anxious or uptight. Thankfully most qualified counselors offer phone sessions – and you can decide to have video as well as audio if you need the closer interaction and connection that seeing each other provides. 

2. Yoga 

There are many classes online of course, but the good news is that there are a growing number of classes that are now being live-streamed straight into people’s homes – which is very useful right now if you want to practice, need the motivation of others in group, but can’t be together the way you usually do because we need to distance from each other. 

Classes are done remotely, so you can be comfortable at home listening to the yoga teacher and following their instructions and movements. And it’s even possible to have two-way interaction if you switch on your video, allowing the instructor to provide individual feedback to you on your position or breathing (for example). Some of the new entrants to the market include ‘Yogaia‘ which runs live and interactive online yoga sessions with two way communications in a number of countries including the US.

And of course, there are lots of free videos on Yoga to keep you going – try out different teachers and styles and find the one for you.  

3. Guided meditations – group meditations like those of Eckhart Tolle are increasingly being streamed live to audiences via video link – I think this idea of ‘live event’ meditation/spiritual calming is important for today’s stressful lifestyle. Large groups engaging in meditation is a very powerful therapy – and especially beneficial when you are having to socially isolate from others.

4. DIY Therapies to give yourself some space to think positively.

There are so many therapies you can learn about and practise on your own at home. The simple act of learning some new therapy is good for taking your mind away from worries and the constant draw of the latest depressing news headline on Covid-19 on tv/social media. Try finding out about Numerology, Power Animal readings or Positive Affirmation cards. You can do it all online.

4. Sonic Therapy – try it yourself – lie down and listen (for at least 20 minutes) to gongs and chimes are calming and therapeutic or watch professional musicians live online streaming gong baths to enthusiasts. 

5. Creative writing therapy – get your ideas, your fears and your experiences down on paper – it’s therapeutic and helps bring some order to the chaos outside. 

Or why not create your own Visualization board of images for your future when this difficult time is over.   

This time will pass but in the meantime, there are things we can do to support our own mental health and help us see our way through.

Kay Hutchison is a content creator with extensive experience in radio, television and publishing. After gaining her BMus and MA in music at Glasgow University, she joined Decca Records in London and then BBC Radio as a Producer. Kay moved across to television with Channel 4 and went on to lead the launch teams for Disney TV and Channel Five. In the build-up to the 2012 London Olympics, she successfully led the legacy partnership that delivered a long-term future for the multi-million-pound Olympics Broadcast Centre. Kay founded her own company, Belle Media and launched Belle Kids in 2015, producing multi-platform, conservation-focused content for children.

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