BRIEFING NOTE:

Looking after mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak

Overview

Advice on looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including when staying at home for prolonged period.

Key advice

Tips to help individuals, families and friends look after their mental health at a time when there is much discussion of potential threats to our physical health:

  • Get the facts. Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak.
  • Try to stay connected. At times of stress, we work better with support. Try to keep in touch with your friends and family, or contact a helpline for emotional support.
  • Involving children and family in plans for good health is essential. Explain the facts but try to avoid over-exposure to coverage of the virus.
  • Try to anticipate distress. It is normal to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed as we read news about the outbreak. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and remind each other to look after our physical and mental health. Try to reassure people you know who may be worried.
  • Manage your media intake. There is extensive coverage about the outbreak in the news. It is important to keep informed and educate yourself but if you find watching, reading or listening to the news is causing you distress then you should limit your intake.

For more detailed tips check out:

mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

Look after your wellbeing while staying at home

We know that staying at home for a prolonged period of time can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and that you may feel low. It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if and when you need it. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media.

There are also sources of support and information that can help - see nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters.

 

Do things you enjoy

Think about things you can do during your time at home. People who have successfully completed a period of staying at home have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films. If you feel well enough you can take part in light exercise within your home or garden.

Living Life to the Full provides free online courses for Greater Manchester residents covering low mood, stress and resiliency. Work out why you feel as you do, how to tackle problems, build confidence, get going again, feel happier, stay calm, tackle upsetting thinking and more.

If you are struggling with stress, feelings of anxiety or your mental health

Please see the NHS mental health and wellbeing advice website for self-assessment, audio guides and tools that you can use.

For more information and ways to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak check out: mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing.

For advice on coronavirus (COVID19) and any symptoms

See the NHS website.