Coronavirus and Mental Health
Looking after yourself at home has never been more important due to the coronavirus and mental health should be your main priority. The coronavirus pandemic is way beyond anything anyone has ever encountered before.
With the new lockdown measures in place and many people self-isolating, the coronavirus and mental health is affecting the way many of us live our lives which can trigger stress, depression and anxiety in times of uncertainty.
Fast Response PFA Ltd have put together a few helpful tips to ensure good mental health during these difficult times because all the uncertainty can make it all too easy to feel out of control.
1. Stay Connected
Make sure you stay connected to your friends and family as best as you can. Pick up the phone or send texts and photos to each other
Even if you’re stuck at home, our online world gives us many ways to chat and stay connected with your friends and family.
Play online with your friends. Face Time or Zoom are great ways to check in with live face to face communication.
Connecting and checking in with each other is more important than ever and can help ease the stress caused by all the news.
Set up a WhatsApp or Facebook groups and you can always mute if you’re finding them too overwhelming.
Now’s the perfect time to reach out to help other people and use this opportunity to connect with those you’ve not spoken to in a while and check in with people that may need it.
2. Don’t Saturate Yourself with the News – Switch Off!
It’s very tempting to watch and watch (and then watch some more) all the information that’s coming in but don’t saturate yourself with it.
If it helps check the main news and decide on specific times, 9am and 5pm, for example on a reputable channel. There can be a lot of misinformation out there so stick to trusted sources.
Social Media is great to share the positive stories or funny posts…it’s OK to laugh but equally it’s OK to turn off social media for a bit.
3. Keep a Daily Routine
With not having to set the alarm in the morning it’s all too easy to stay up late in front of the TV and turn night into day and vice versa but try and strike a balance between having a routine and making sure each day has some variety.
It can be hard to begin to accept what is happening as the new normal for the foreseeable months.
Don’t make it too routine though in terms of trying new things. This is the perfect time to sign up to online courses, learn a new skill, learn simple daily physical exercises or yoga with workouts online that you can practice at home.
Get with the pending DIY and spring cleaning with all the small jobs you didn’t have time to do before. Keep a To-Do list so you can see you’re achieving something as it’s very satisfying to tick these off one by one.
Running, cycling and walking are all still options on the table.
If you have kids then there are plenty of ideas for indoor games and ideas on google along with arts and crafts. Get the kids back to good old fashioned baking, sewing, knitting, gardening or even growing your own food if you have a garden.
4. Share Your Feelings
It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed or upset about a lot of this.
Having that realisation that you’re feeling overwhelmed or annoyed at trivial things is also totally normal and you may be finding it tricky to adjust to an unfamiliar way of living. Although we may be co-habiting with someone it is very trying to co-habit 100% day in day out without the rise of disputes.
Getting out is the best policy – whether that’s going for a walk or just sitting on the front porch. If you have children, it may be that you need to take turns on this so as to allow your partner space too. Share your feelings and let family or friends know you’re finding things a bit tough.
Social distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing.
5. Don’t Overthink Things
It’s so easy to overthink things and invent our biggest fears in the light of so much uncertainty. Information is changing every day and the biggest fear is the not knowing. Remember the biggest accomplishments and successes were only ever achieved through great change of which a journey of uncertainty has to be overcome.
You may be worried about your job for example or vulnerable members of your family. You may have financial worries or have a business that you feel might not be able to survive.
Meditation is a great way to calm the mind. Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
You may think that you can’t learn meditation but it is very simple starting with breathing techniques and you can find lots of guided meditation on You Tube or download from the App Store.
If you are having trouble sleeping through overthinking again you can download calming sounds and moods for sleep or sleep meditation.
Meditation will help you stay focused on the positives rather than the negatives.
And here’s a thought…..maybe, just maybe in this mad moment of great change, you just might be destined for better things. So if this is your thought, now is the time to launch that thought into action whereby action brings change and we can set about reaching new goals and achievements.
6. Talk to CALM
If you feel out of your depth, The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide through vital, life-saving support and collective action.
If things are getting on top of you, call CALM on 0800 58 58 58 or through their web chat.
Trained support workers are available from 5pm to midnight every day to provide practical support and advice, whatever you’re going through.
To find out more you can visit the CALM website here.