There’s no doubt that such an unusual outbreak of the highly contagious coronavirus is causing many people to be worried about their own health, as well as that of friends and family – many of whom we cannot see because we are having to stay in our own homes. This can have an impact on our mental health.
There is a lot of information about coronavirus and what we should and shouldn’t do online and in the news – and while it’s important to stay informed, stories we hear and read can add to our worries.
Mental health is as important as our physical health
Having to stay at home – unless you must go outside for food, health reasons or essential work – and not taking part in activities that we are used to will take time to adjust to. Here are some tips to help you adjust to this new way of life.
- Try to keep some routine, even though it will be different. Set times to work and make sure you have periods of rest and relaxation. You could also, for example, try reading more or doing some exercise as part of the routine – there are lots of free services now available
- Keep in touch with friends and family: there are lots of ways you probably already do this – phone calls, instagram, Facetime, Skype…
- Get enough sleep. Try to go to bed and get up at regular times – even at the weekend. Open curtains or blinds to let in natural light.
- Exercise – if you can. You are allowed to go for a walk or run from your own home.
- Try to eat well. Think about what and when you are eating: eat proper meals rather than just having lots of snacks
Keep your mind busy
Keeping your mind busy while at home may be a struggle. There are lots of free things that you can do online. Here are a just a few ideas.
- Audible has made a large number of books free to listen to.
- Take virtual tours of museums.
- Exercise is great for your body and mind. There are plenty of free resources but here are a couple of links – CorePower Yoga live and NHS fitness videos.
- Many celebrity chefs are providing tip and free recipes on their social media channels on how to cook and eat well during the lockdown.
- Take a virtual tour of a zoo or attraction: Monteray Bay Aquarium has a live web cam; San Diego Zoo has a series of web cams; and tour a Legoland hotel.
Help is at hand
If you are struggling to cope with anxiety or need some support there are lots of trusted organisations you can turn to, including:
- Mind, mental health advice and support
- the Samaritans, suicide prevention
- Young Minds, children and young people’s mental health charity
- Childline, counselling service for children and young people
- Anxiety UK, anxiety help and support
- Kooth, support for young people
We also have our own counselling and mental health service for students, which is still working even while we are closed. You can find more details on the website.