meditation ymca

16 April 2020

Here’s 10 top tips from our counselling team for how to look after your mental health during the lockdown.

1. Remember, you are not alone, most people are feeling more anxious or worried at the moment.

2. Understanding ways to support yourself during this time will help. There’s no quick fix to make anxiety disappear but there are things that you can do to support yourself.

3. AnxietyUK suggests practising the “Apple” technique to deal with anxiety and worries.

A – Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.

P – Pause: Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breathe.

P – Pull back: Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.

L – Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.

E – Explore: Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry, or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.

4.Talk to someone. Call a friend or family member

5. Try to do something you like or enjoy every day. Listening to music, reading a book, watching a film, listening to a podcast, having a walk

6. Headspace (app and website) is currently free – 10 min and 3 min meditation, ways to support sleep and exercise.

7. Limit how often you are checking the news. Checking the news too often can make anxiety worse.

8. Try not think too far ahead, think about one day at a time. This can really help if you have a tendency to catastrophize or overthink. Each time you notice this happening, say to yourself. I am not going to think about that right now. Right now I need to focus on…

9. There is lots of support available. Ask our Release Counselling team or email – for further information

10. Remember that like everything else, this situation is temporary.


We’ll continue to support you and your mental health at a distance, even in isolation we can flourish together.


Recommended websites:

“We’re here to help you make small changes that fit your life, so you feel better and healthier every day.

Every Mind Matters gives you simple and practical advice to get a healthier mind and get more out of life – from how to deal with stress and anxiety, to boosting our mood or sleeping better. It will help you spot the signs of common mental health conditions, get personalised practical self-care tips and information on further support. You’ll also learn about what you can do to help others.

It only takes a minute to get started with our short free quiz to create Your Mind Plan with personalised tips and advice.”


Recommended apps:

All these apps are free to download and use. Some may have in-app purchases

  • EQUOO: EMOTIONAL FITNESS GAME. Use adventure games designed by psychologists to increase your emotional fitness and learn new psychological skills.
  • FEELING GOOD: Improve your thoughts, feelings, self-esteem and self-confidence using the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy.
  • MY POSSIBLE SELF: Pick from 10 modules to learn how to manage fear, anxiety and stress, and take control of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
  • STRESS & ANXIETY COMPANION: Guided breathing exercises, relaxing music and games made to help calm the mind, and handle stress and anxiety on the go
  • ALM HARM: An app designed to help people resist or manage the urge to self-harm. It’s private and password-protected.
  • CATCH IT: Learn to look at problems differently, turn negative thoughts into positive ones and improve your mental wellbeing.
  • COVE: Create music to help express complex feelings. Cove is a personal musical journal to help you with your mental health.
  • DISTRACT: Get quick, easy and discreet access to information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts.


16 April 2020