How do you score on these 10 things to do every day during Covid-19 to keep you feeling good?

Let’s be honest. We are happy to acknowledge that Covid-19 can damage our bodies. That’s whether we catch it or, in trying to avoid it, end up eating badly or moving around less than we should.

But how seriously do we take its potential impact on our mental health? Doesn’t even the phrase ‘mental health’ suggest a place we’d rather not go and issues not to be thought about?

Yet, even as things begin to open up, the coronavirus still generates an understandable level of fear, worry and concern – for ourselves and others. Added to that is the impact of greater levels of isolation and lack of hugs than normal. All of which plays a part in regulating the chemicals in our body that impact the way we feel and our ability to cope.

It’s because of this the NHS and others have developed the 10 things we should all be sure to do every day to promote our own mental health. And here comes my own take on them.

1. Do something you enjoy and are good at

This is about ‘me’ time, something that can be especially hard for those who feel the need to lay down their lives for others. It also means making some positive choices not to just sit and vegetate until the world changes.

It can be harder to find things you enjoy and are good at when most of the time you are stuck at home. But it has to be done.

2. Drink enough water

Please note the word ‘water’ and don’t confuse it with energy drinks or with alcohol even if the latter is mixed in with some H2O. How much water? Roughly about eight glasses a day is the recommendation.

3.Eat wisely

That word ‘wisely’ covers a multitude of non-sins. Including eating our veggies and keeping off processed foods as much as possible. For great advice see the AfterWorkNet website on The Stay Young Diet.

And ‘wisely’ also means no snacking and less ‘I deserve this’, despite feeling the need for some comfort eating.

4. Keep active in mind and body

Each of us will approach this in different ways. Having an active mind can range from attacking a crossword or playing Words with Friends to exploring an interest or learning something new.

The true is same for keeping our body active. Some will tune into online exercise and others will just be sure to take a walk each day.

5. Take a break

Don’t spend long periods in one place doing one thing – be it as a couch potato, a knitter, at a computer screen or whatever. Instead, be sure to take regular breaks if sitting in one position, to stand, stretch and move around

6. Stay connected to those you care about

This is easy for extraverts – those needing no prompting to phone a friend and who then talk for hours when they do. But others may need to be intentional – even down to listing and scheduling – to make sure they regularly catch-up family, friends and acquaintances.

That matters even if you feel there is nothing new to talk about. After all, just because that may be true of you it may not be true of them. And an ‘I just wondered how you are doing’, can be great therapy for both of you.

7. Be delighted in who you are

This is about how you view yourself – as someone made in God’s image and of immeasurable worth. And therefore worth taking care of.

This is the right kind of ‘worth it’ and to be reflected in your surroundings and how you behave. And includes having periods with your windows open to let in fresh air, getting natural sunlight if you can, and getting out into the garden or an open space.

8. Actively care for others

This takes your mind off you and onto others. Who else around you is affected by the way things are now? Might they need to connect with you? What can you do to meet their needs and enrich their lives?

9. Talk about your feelings

We seldom hesitate to talk about our physical afflictions – unless they are somewhat embarrassing. Yet too often we hang back on talking about our mental struggles – treating them as equally embarrassing.

It means giving an honest answer to the question ‘how are you?’ when it comes from someone who is honestly asking. And picking a trusted person to say ‘I’m not having a good day’ to.

10. Ask for help

Okay, this is not ‘daily’ but something you should be open to doing on any day of the week if you need to. It is about seeking help when all the other stuff has not worked and life keeps feeling bluer and bluer.

It may involve reaching out to those you trust who can lighten your load. Or even to a doctor and then being sure to do what they say.

That’s the 10. How do you score? And is there something you should do about it?

How are you keeping your head together during Covid-19? Please tell all either here or on the AfterWorkNet Facebook community

Peter Meadows

Peter is AfterWorkNet’s Programme Director. He’s using his retirement to help churches, resource inter-church initiatives, and escapes to Spain when he can. And he only scored 9 out of 10 on this post..


  1. I really like this checklist – I had expected it be much more either cerebral or spiritual, but its practical orientation is spot on and actually paves the way for the other things. Perhaps , being selective in one’s reading could be number 11 – it is not really a time to be into Magic Realism!

  2. This is very helpful. I kind of know it, but reading it in a list and realizing it’s not just me was very reassuring this morning. Thank you

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The word retirement is not even in the Bible. What is taught in scripture is transition. There is nothing that says you work most of your life and then get to be selfish for the next 20 years"

Rick Warren, PurposeDrivenLife