Your mental well-being during the coronavirus pandemic

You might be feeling lonely, a loss of control and scared. Here are some ideas to help you get through this:

  • Give your day some structure.
    Plan some key activities (big or small) you’d like to achieve each day, giving yourself some control, purpose and motivation.
  • Don’t watch too much news or spend too much time on twitter. It’s important to keep up to date with the latest developments and advice but don’t let it dominate your day.
  • Also, don’t spend too much time on Facebook – friends like to comment on the current situation but this can become overwhelming too.
  • Try to relax and switch off before going to bed whether that’s by watching a film, reading a book or having a bath before going to sleep, avoid watching the news or looking at social media.
  • Watch something light-hearted on TV or something gripping which can give you joy or escapism.
  • Find things to do around your home you might have been putting off – this could give you a sense of purpose and achievement and finally get them off your mind!
  • Growing flowers, vegetables etc can be therapeutic. Next time you go to the supermarket see if you can get some seeds, or perhaps buy a plant.
  • Incorporate fitness into your day, check out the YouTube channels. Or perhaps you have an exercise bike that’s been sitting around collecting dust?
  • Participate in a form of outdoor exercise such as walking, cycling or jogging. Remember to stay at least 2 metres away from others.
  • Practice mindfullness, meditation, and other forms of relaxation.
  • Natural light and particularly sunlight can help you feel more positive. Spend time in your garden or on your balcony. If you don’t have either, do you have a window that lets in light that you can place a chair next to?
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Set yourself small challenges to gain a sense of achievement – when was the last time you did a puzzle?
  • You may be feeling that you are missing out on living your life. Use this time to plan life after the virus. Whether it’s researching a future holiday, planning to meet up with friends or looking up meet up groups to join, or perhaps gaining a new skill that will help you in your current job or help you get your next job.
  • Keeping a diary might help you to collect your thoughts. It also might motivate you to add variety to your day so you have something different to write about.
  • For some, the feeling of isolation may have been a reality prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and this may be magnifying previous symptoms. Remember there will be an end to this but if you are struggling, there is help out there.
    Call the Samaritans free helpline, which is available round the clock, on 116 123. Or contact them by email: jo@samaritans.org
    Perhaps you can use your experience to help others who are trying to navigate these new feelings and restrictions. There might be tips and coping mechanisms you can share.
  • Be kind to yourself. Accept some days will be harder than others and make sure you treat yourself – whether it’s eating cake, soaking in a bubble bath or sitting down with some popcorn and watching a film, it doesn’t have to be big, just something you enjoy.

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