Top Tips for Mental Health.
The government is now advising us to avoid all but essential social contact. This will could mean that more of us will be spending a lot of time on our own. It is important that you protect yourself while being supportive to others. By assisting others in their time of need can be a benefit to the person receiving support as well as the helper. For example, check-in by phone on neighbors in your community who may need some extra assistance. Working together as one community can help to create solidarity in addressing Covid-19 together. By staying at home many of our regular social activities will no longer be available to us. It could also see us, spending more time on our own and embracing technology as a way of keeping in touch with our family and friends.
It will mean adjusting and finding a new rhythm to our life and using tools to help us with that change.
- Minimize watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information only from trusted sources and mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts; not the rumors and misinformation. Facts can help to minimize fears. (World Health Organisation)
- Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper. For example, check-in by phone on neighbours. Working together as one community can help to create solidarity in addressing Covid-19 together. (World Health Organisation)
- Take care of yourself at this time. Try and use helpful coping strategies such as ensuring sufficient rest and respite during work or between shifts, eat sufficient and healthy food, engage in physical activity, and stay in contact with family and friends. (World Health Organisation)
- Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies such as tobacco, alcohol or other drugs. In the long term, these can worsen your mental and physical wellbeing. This is a unique and unprecedented scenario for many workers. Even so, using strategies that have worked for you in the past to manage times of stress can benefit you now. You are most likely to know how to de-stress and you should not be hesitant in keeping yourself psychologically well. This is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. (World Health Organisation)
- Find out about your employment and benefits rights. You may be worried about work and money if you have to stay home – these issues can have a big effect on your mental health. If you have not already, talk with your employer about staying at home, and learn about your sick pay and benefits rights. Knowing the details about what the coronavirus outbreak means for you for you can reduce worry and help you feel more in control. GOV UK Every Mind Matters
- Plan practical things. Work out how you can get any household supplies you need. You could try asking neighbours or family friends, or find a delivery service. Continue accessing treatment and support for any existing physical or mental health problems where possible. Let services know you are staying at home, and discuss how to continue receiving support. If you need regular medicine, you might be able to order repeat prescriptions by phone, or online via a website or app. Contact your GP and ask if they offer this. You can also ask your pharmacy about getting your medicine delivered, or ask someone else to collect it for you. If you support or care for others, either in your home or by visiting them regularly, think about who can help out while you are staying at home. Carers UK has further advice on creating a contingency plan if you care for others. Every Mind Matters
- Connect with others. Maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family while you are at home – by phone, messaging, video calls or online – whether it's people you usually see often, or reconnecting with old friends or neighbours. Lots of people are finding the current situation difficult, so staying in touch could help them too. Every Mind Matters
- Talk about your worries. It is quite common to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember, it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – doing so could help them too. Or you could try a charity helpline or webchat
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.