Davina McCall is one of the UK’s most loved TV personalities. She first flexed her presenting muscles on MTV Europe back in 1992 and, since then, she has appeared almost constantly on our screens, working on shows such as Big Brother, This Morning, The Jump, Long Lost Family, Celebrity Bake Off, The Nightly Show, and The Masked Singer.
However, despite her hugely successful career and positively infectious enthusiasm for life, McCall has – like so many of us – experienced tragedies and difficulties behind closed doors. She has spoken honestly about her fraught relationship with her late mother and how it led her to seek solace in drugs: in fact, she recently opened up about overcoming a long-term heroin addiction when she was younger. And she has said, on numerous occasions, that talking has helped her deal with her ghosts more than anything else.
In a new interview, McCall explains that she is regularly hit with a “wave of anxiety” when she wakes up at the moment, as her brain is forced to process its new reality all over again.
“If you start thinking too far in advance, it becomes too much for your brain to handle,” she tells OK! Magazine.
Sticking to a strict routine, however, has helped McCall keep a handle on things.
“I get up, wash and keep my personal hygiene going,” she says. “I brush my teeth, shower, put on deodorant, a bit of make-up and make myself feel a bit better. I’ve really got into making my bed, too. Then I take the dog out. From 10.30am, I organise calls, do housework and cook lunch. Then, more calls, more work and then I prepare dinner.
McCall’s approach to keeping calm during the age of Covid-19 is one that has been approved by mental health experts. Indeed, Mind recently reminded us of the importance of having a routine in lockdown via their website.
“Plan how you’ll spend your time,” the mental health charity has advised people, explaining that this is a good way to regain some sense of control during lockdown.
“It might help to write this down on paper and put it on the wall. And try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time as normal, follow your usual morning routines, and go to bed at your usual time. Set alarms to remind you of your new schedule if that helps.”
The charity adds: “If you aren’t happy with your usual routine, this might be a chance to do things differently. For example, you could go to bed earlier, spend more time cooking or do other things you don’t usually have time for.
“Above all else, think about how you’ll spend time by yourself at home. For example, plan activities to do on different days or habits you want to start or keep up.”
For more advice on how to protect your mental health during the coronavirus lockdown, visit the Mind website now.
Image design: Alessia Armenise