The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak. Government advice designed to keep us safe is under constant review and will be different depending on where you live: more details and up to date information here.
Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current coronavirus (COVID-19), can be scary and can affect our mental health. While it is important to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times.
Here are some tips we hope will help you, your friends and your family to look after your mental health at a time when there is much discussion of potential threats to our physical health.
Looking after your mental health as lockdown eases
Across the nations of the UK, lockdown is easing in different ways and at different times. As we begin to come out of lockdown many of us are faced with both challenges and opportunities.
Within social distancing guidelines, we may be able to see friends and family in person, play sport or return to work.
However, many of us may find even these longed-for changes difficult for our mental health. The idea of coming out of lockdown when the scientific debate is ongoing may also be worrying for those of us who are more at risk from the virus or living with mental health problems.
If this is something you are struggling with, read our tips on dealing with fear and anxiety as lockdown eases and coping with uncertainty.
Looking after your mental health while you have to stay at home
More of us will be spending a lot of time at home and many of our regular social activities will no longer be available to us.
It will help to try and see it as a different period in your life, and not necessarily a bad one, even if you didn’t choose it.
It will mean a different rhythm of life, a chance to be in touch with others in different ways than usual. Be in touch with other people regularly on social media, e-mail or on the phone, as they are still good ways of being close to the people who matter to you.
Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. You could try reading more or watching movies, having an exercise routine, trying new relaxation techniques, or finding new knowledge on the internet. Try and rest and view this as a new if unusual experience, that might have its benefits.
Make sure your wider health needs are being looked after such as having enough prescription medicines available to you.