Nuffield Health has launched a series of free, online classes focused on emotional wellbeing.
The classes have been made available on the healthcare charity's digital platform, Nuffield Health 24/7, and aim to give people the means to focus on their mental wellbeing – as well as their physical wellbeing – from their homes during lockdown.
The first series of classes include mindfulness, relaxation, and stress management, in addition to muscle relaxation and deep breathing.
The first two classes to go live are ‘Introduction to Mindfulness’ and ‘Calm Space’.
The former introduces people to the basic principles of mindfulness and how to be present and engaged in the moment, while the latter includes relaxation and helps manage stress using ‘grounding technique’.
Further classes launching in the coming weeks include: how to integrate mindfulness into everyday activities, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing and mindful exercise.
Brendan Street, professional head of emotional wellbeing at Nuffield, said: “There is no health without mental health…and good mental health is so much more than the absence of mental ill-health.
"During difficult times it is even more important to invest in our mental health.
"Our free online Emotional Wellbeing classes have been designed by clinicians, informed by evidence-based psychological theories, as a step by step way to enhance mental and physical fitness.
"There are limits to what we can do due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19, but there is a lot we can do to adjust our mental response to these restrictions.
"Techniques such as Mindfulness can help you become more aware and accepting of your thoughts.
"Mindfulness also allows us to become more aware of the streams of thoughts and feelings that we experience, and rather than just accept them, notice how we can become entangled in that stream in unhelpful ways…and then, choose not to be. In times of uncertainty, this is a really helpful skill.”
The programme of wellbeing classes has been launched partly in response to a recent YouGov poll – commissioned by Nuffield – which revealed that more than half of people surveyed (52 per cent) feel that lockdown restrictions have had a negative impact on their mental health.
Among the groups particularly impacted are women (59 per cent), those aged 25-34 (66 per cent) and household with children (57 per cent) – a figure that is likely to increase given the recent school closures.
The survey showed that, with the nation predominantly confined to their homes during lockdown 3.0, many people are experiencing ongoing fear, uncertainty, isolation, and disruption to their everyday lives which is taking a toll on their mental health.