Looking After Your Mental Wellbeing During the Coronavirus Outbreak

31 March 2020 1:58pm

Social isolation, reduction in physical activity, unpredictability and changes in routine can all contribute to increasing stress.

Many people including those without existing mental health needs may feel anxious about this impact including support with daily living, ongoing care arrangements with health providers, support with medication and changes in their daily routines.

At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help, to stay mentally and physically active during this time such as:

  • look for ideas of exercises you can do at home on the NHS website
  • spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to favourite radio programmes or watching TV
  • try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise regularly, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
  • try spending time with the windows open to let in the fresh air, arranging space to sit and see a nice view (if possible) and get some natural sunlight, or get out into any private space, keeping at least two metres away from your neighbours and household members if you are sitting on your doorstep.

Constantly watching the news can make you feel more worried. If you think it is affecting you, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to media coverage of the outbreak. It may help to only check the news at set times or limit this to a couple of times a day.

Try to focus on the things you can control such as your behaviour, who you speak to and who you get information from. Every Mind Matters provides simple tips and advice to start taking better care of your mental health.

If you are struggling with your mental health, please see the NHS mental health and wellbeing advice website for self-assessment, audio guides and tools that you can use. If you are still struggling after several weeks and it is affecting your daily life, please contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

Steps you can take to stay connected with family and friends during this time

Draw on support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time.

Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling if you want to.

Remember, it is okay to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them, too. Or you might want to try an NHS recommended helpline.