Changing the conversation about health

Ruby Wax: “We’re allowed to exercise our bodies but what to do with our minds? As always, there’s no instruction manual”

Mental health campaigner Ruby Wax has been discussing the impact that continued isolation, to prevent the spread of coronavirus, will have on our minds.

Mental health campaigner, writer and comedian Ruby Wax discusses mental health during the coronavirus in a new HealthFlix video

In a live video for new health streaming service HealthFlix, the entertainer and comedian joined Jamie Bristow, a director at The Mindfulness Initiative, to discuss how the government restrictions – designed to ‘flatten the curve’ – don’t address how to keep mental health strong during the current crisis.

Wax referenced a diary extract from her new book, written on 25th March, just one day after the stricter regulations were introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

She said: ‘We are allowed to exercise our bodies outside once a day but what to do with our minds? As always, there’s no instruction.

‘The earth still rotates around the sun, the moon comes out at night, animals do their thing, plants grow and die but what do we do now?’

The ‘Time to Evolve’ broadcast saw Wax reveal that she has friends who have been left anxious and ‘bereft’ by the sudden loneliness of isolation.

The star asks if we can find positives in the isolation we’re all enduring – and says it may teach us how to be more present when life returns to normal

She added that the virus had heightened a society where people are often too busy and too stressed to really connect and be present in the company of others.

Wax admitted: ‘I know I was too busy always. That to-do list, on holiday, working, shopping, going to the theatre, eating… were our minds present? I don’t know.

‘I missed my whole kids’ childhood because I was on the telephone… research says 80 per cent of our lives are spent mind-wandering. 

‘Maybe we should use this time as a training period so that when we’re finally let out and see each other skin-to-skin we’ll have the muscles it takes to pull our attention to what’s right in front of us.’

Watch the full discussion in the video player above or visit HealthFlix’ YouTube channel