The coronavirus has many of us on edge and as the days pass it may take its toll on our mental health. Whilst it is important to stay informed, there are also many things you can do to manage your wellbeing during these times.

Here are some tips we hope will help you to look after your mental health:

 

1a

Keep Active

Being active reduces stress, increases energy levels, make us more alert and helps us sleep better.
At home there are lots of ways to stay active and with time on our hands you can explore different ways of adding physical movement and activity to your daily routine.

To help you start off your active journey, we have created a range of workout@home activities for you to try.

Click here for more information.

 

6a

Plan your day

We are all adjusting to a new, rather strange, way of life. This can be a risk to our mental wellbeing.
As tempting as it might be to stay in pyjamas all day, regular routines are essential for our identity, self-confidence and purpose.
Try to start your day at roughly the same time you usually would and aim to set aside time each day for movement, relaxation, connection and reflection.

2a

Relax

Relaxing and focusing on the present can help improve your mental health and lighten negative feelings.

Try some different meditation or breathing exercises to see what helps. For example, sometimes we can be so tense that we do not even remember what being relaxed feels like. Progressive muscle relaxation teaches you to recognise when you are starting to get tense and how to relax.

The NHS has a range of relaxation techniques which are free.
 

4a

Improve your sleep

Feelings of uncertainty and changes to daily life may mean you have more difficulty sleeping.

There is a lot you can do to improve your sleep. Aim to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even at the weekend if you can, and try to get some natural sunlight (by opening your curtains and windows) where possible. This helps to regulate your body clock which can help you sleep better.

Wind down before bed by avoiding using your phone, tablet, computer or TV for an hour before bedtime.

A range of tips for improving your sleep can be found on the Every Mind Matters Website here.
 

3a

Stay Connected


At times of stress and uncertainty, we work better with others supporting us. Try and keep in touch with your friends and family, by telephone, email or social media, or contact a helpline for emotional support.  
Stay in touch with friends on social media but try not to sensationalise things. If you are sharing content, use this from trusted sources, and remember that your friends might be worried too.
Also remember to regularly assess your social media activity. Tune in with yourself and ask if they need to be adjusted. Are there particular accounts or people that are increasing your worry or anxiety? Consider muting or unfollowing accounts or hashtags that cause you to feel anxious.

 

5a

Try to manage how you follow the outbreak in the media

Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus can help you feel more in control. You can find all up to date information and advice on the Gov.uk website.

There is extensive news coverage about the outbreak. If you find that the news is causing you huge stress, it’s important to find a balance.

It’s best that you don’t avoid all news and that you keep informing and educating yourself, but limit your news intake if it is bothering you.

 

*Information provided by mentalhealth.org.uk

Mental Health Helplines

Mind-logo

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
Website: www.mind.org.uk

For support for young children please click here.

 

Anxiety UK
Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm)
Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

 

Samaritans

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

 

Men's Health Forum
24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk