During lockdown, the new rules of life can pull our mental health into a damaging spiral.

While staring at the same four walls our anxiety and stress can be heightened by worries over anything and everything – jobs, money, living arrangements, the pandemic itself – and those feelings are compounded by an absence of the great ways in which we usually relieve them.

Those small but important releases like socialising and exercising have been limited, and the result is sometimes a hard cycle to break. Often we turn to short-term fixes like alcohol or unhealthy foods which give a brief relief but tend make us feel worse in the long run.

Even in lockdown there are still plenty of ways to combat this, of course. A kind of ‘distant-socialising’ is still possible over video conference, provided you’ve got the patience to cope with several hundred “sorry, no, you go” interludes. And exercise is not just allowed but is very much encouraged by Public Health England and mental health professionals to help us all through this period.

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