Right now the whole world is experiencing a shared sense of loss.

Whether that’s for a life that’s changed beyond recognition or grieving one of the 2.2 million loved ones who have died from COVID-19 around the world, the strain the pandemic has put on our mental health, without respite or relief, has forced us all to look inwards.

But real hope is coming. It may not feel like it yet, but the vaccination effort will inevitably begin to bear fruit. Slowly, that could mean a transition back to hugs, pubs, and a life that somewhat resembles what we’ve lost.

In the meantime, lockdowns persist for many of us — potentially, but not certainly, due to change some time around April for the UK, depending on vaccine targets and infection rates — and with that means a continuing toll on our mental and emotional well-being.

However, there are things you can do to take care of yourself: meditation, yoga, walking, art, reading, or even just a good night’s sleep. You could adjust your expectations from the world around you, attempt to reduce your screen time, or make a mindful attempt to improve your diet.

These are just some of the ideas sent to us when we asked some of our friends — awe-inspiring leaders from the UK who light up circles of activism, well-being, mental health advocacy, and more — to offer some advice to people struggling with their mental health during lockdown.

Here’s what they said.

  • Will Williams — Founder, Beeja Meditation:  “My best advice would be to get your sleep routine sorted.”
  • Leyla Hussein OBE — psychotherapist and anti-FGM activist: “I hope everyone who is currently going through lockdowns and quarantines has the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on their own needs. As a result of this pandemic, we are more isolated from each other than ever, which is both difficult and unnatural for us as fundamentally social beings.

Read the full article about taking care of your mental health by James Hitchings-Hales at Global Citizen.