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To Sam

Emotions and mental health in lockdown

Hi sam, I have a question for you.

How do you think I could calm myself and stop feeling down whilst in lockdown ?, because it is really affecting my emotions and my mental health. Thanks

From Chloe

Ask Sam


Hi there,

The pandemic is affecting everyone, but people are affected in different ways. Some people find lockdown harder than others, and not being able to go out and do everyday things can get harder the longer it goes on for. Looking after your mental and physical health during such a difficult time is really important, but you might not know how to do that. I can give you some tips that are a good starting point but it helps to experiment to find out what works best for you.

One way of looking after your mental health is to try and reduce the effects that lockdown has. Think carefully about the things you would normally be doing if you weren't in lockdown, then think about how they helped you. List all of the things that you would normally be doing but can't at the moment. Once you have your list, for each item write down what it is that you miss most about it.

For example, if you normally do karate on a Wednesday you might miss the physical exercise and seeing friends from the club. Once you have thought about what you are missing by being in lockdown, you can try to replace those things as best you can. So if you can't get exercise from your karate club, you could replace it with an exercise you can do at home or outside. You could do this at the same time you would normally have gone to your club, so that it's as normal as possible.

Another way of looking after your mental health in lockdown is to try and do extra things you wouldn't normally have done. There are mental exercises you can do to help keep yourself healthy. These are always good to do but you may not have felt a need for them until now - lockdown is a good time to try it out though. We have lots of these ideas in our Calm Zone and Coping Kit so you could take a look and find some things that work for you.

Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to go somewhere green, like a park or garden - but getting outside and doing something physical is a good way to boost your mood. Whether you go and watch some local wildlife such as ducks or geese, walk in some woods or just get fresh air if there's no green space where you live - any of these will help a bit. Staying inside all of the time usually makes most people feel worse the longer you do it so any time outside is good.

Finally, there's one way to think about the lockdown which might help. It's not likely that we will ever be in this kind of situation again - and there might be some benefits to a lockdown you haven't thought of. You might find yourself with a lot of time on your hands to do something you wouldn't otherwise do. Perhaps you can start a new hobby or read books you wouldn't otherwise read. Lockdown is happening and we can't change that, so you could try to find some positive things and make the most of them whilst you can. Having a positive attitude towards it is difficult but can help with your mood a lot.

I hope this has helped - the most important thing to remember is that you're not alone. Childline is here for you whenever you need to talk - our counsellors can listen and chat with you if you're feeling low.

Thanks for writing to me.

Take care,


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