This is how Jacaranda FM's presenters keep their mental health in check during lockdown

This is how Jacaranda FM's presenters keep their mental health in check during lockdown

We asked our presenters to share mental health tips and how they have been taking care of their own mental health during the lockdown.

Danny Painter audio on demand

World Mental Health Day will be observed on Saturday, 10 October.

An estimated 400-million people worldwide suffer from mental or neurological disorders or from psychosocial problems, states the South African government’s website.

Mental health problems include depression, anxiety disorder, behavioural and emotional disorders, bipolar, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, paranoia, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, and schizophrenia. 

A person’s mental health can be disturbed by a lot of things, such as the loss of a loved one, unemployment, toxic work conditions, conflict with others, and feeling like a failure.

READ: World Mental Health Day: How to manage your mental illness

The lockdown led to more people feeling depressed due to loss of employment, and the high death rates as a result of the coronavirus.

Danny Painter says her mental health suffered during the pandemic. 

"I’ve had ups and downs. During the outbreak and the lockdown, I went through a traumatic experience that derailed me from my 'healthy living 2020' and so my mental health suffered as a result," said the 'Love Songs With Danny Painter' presenter. 

What helped her cope was the support and love of her family and friends. 

"I am so blessed to have people in my world who are kind, loving, and supportive and who hold space for me when I feel like I am falling apart."

She adds that she had to do activities that she loves to help her cope. 

"Sometimes that means drinking too much wine on a ‘Houseparty’ with my best friend in Ireland or sending a thousand messages to a friend in Australia who is the most incredible guide, or it may even mean lighting the brain and listening to music with Phil. I have realised that space, down time and rest are vitally important, and that it is 100% okay to not be okay - as long as you are actively working on getting better and not wallowing. I am actively working on my mental health every single day," she said.

READ: Mental health toll of pandemic 'devastating': WHO

Tips for keeping one's mental health in good shape

Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp tips: 

"To take care of one's Mental Health stretches further than tips. It has to be part of one's lifestyle. Most of us try and find a balance between looking after our diet, exercising and even self-care and grooming. Taking care of ones Mental Health has to become part of self-care. The tools are too many to mention, but recognising that it is important for 'self' is a huge step into the right direction."

Danny Painter tips: 

• If you have anxiety - ditch the caffeine immediately. This was one of my biggest anxiety triggers and I refused to let the caffeine go, but, the day I switched to decaf, my anxiety halved.

• Sleep - you absolutely need to sleep, and well. All the tech has now been moved out of the bedroom and lives in the office, there is no reaching for a phone at 2am or being woken up by notifications and there is no more endless scrolling in an attempt to fall asleep.

• Nature. Get outside. Walk barefoot. Breathe [the] air and allow the sunlight to wash over you. There is nothing better.

• I have also become very aware of breathing and have embarked on a journey of breathwork and cold water exposure through Wim Hoff, the app is free and a quick YouTube will tell you everything you need to know! 

• I have also structured my day, there has to be structure so that I don’t get overwhelmed. But, also, within every week I have one full afternoon where there is nothing scheduled and I allow myself the time to binge-watch Netflix or garden, or anything that my body needs to do to recharge. 

READ: Clinical Psychologist advises on the importance of mental health during lockdown

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