COVID – 19 has undoubtedly presented us all with many challenges to confront. The internet and social networking sites are full of information about the virus, much of which concentrates on the physical dangers. However, looking after your mental health is just as important as high levels of stress will affect your immune system and impact how well you respond to these new demands.
From being faced with our own mortality to managing hours confined at home without our usual distractions, routines and support networks. Compounded by not knowing how and when this will end, the challenges to our mental well-being are enormous and something we should take seriously.
- Limit your time keeping up to date with the news.
- Structure your week and day.
- Eat well, sleep well, do the basics – the first things that usually are neglected in times of stress.
- Talk to your kids about what is going on in an age appropriate way – they will know some of what is going on and many are anxious about what that means. Calls to Child-line have rocketed recently reflecting the level of concern our children have.
- Give up trying to control what you can’t. Be mindful – live more in the moment. It’s all you really have.
I would like to share with you links to some excellent free resources I have come across in the course of my work. They offer advice and support on a variety of Corona related themes, and general mental health tools. Please feel free to share…..
|General Mental Wellbeing|
(coronavirus and wellbeing)
My favourite free guided mindfulness page with a variety of different mindful exercises.
|Support for Adults:|
Website provides with:
– tips on looking after self while staying home
– tips for employers and employees to look after mental health while working from home
– info about finances, housing and unemployment worries
– tips on how to talk to children about the pandemic
Website provides with:
– tips on managing mental health
– advice for carers of those with severe mental illness
– temporary changes to the Mental Health Act
|Resources for children or parents – https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/what-to-do-ifyou-re-anxious-about-coronavirus/ and https://emergingminds.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2020/03/COVID19_advice-for-parents-and-carers_20.3_.pdf
https://mummymatters.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Corona-Anxiety-Download.pdf. It is geared towards Mums/parents, but there are bits you can take for non-parents. It includes advice around information management, communication, isolation, relationships and happy kids.
Geared towards young people and managing worries around COVID – it has helplines also.
For parents talking to their children about COVID and ten top tips of how to do this.
|To stay informed about what’s going on in your neighbourhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips.|
|Free Courses on Coping During the Pandemic:
Free course and links to the most up to date advice, as well as exploring feelings, what to do to support your mental health at this time, how to best manage a period of self-isolation and support other people you know, including children and young people.
|General Info COVID-19|
(What to do, how to protect yourself and others and other helpful information)
(info about symptoms and what to do)
Information about corona virus in other languages (to give to patients)
Tips on Social Distancing, Quarantine and Isolation
Face-covid website link and illustrative YouTube video:
Coronavirus Anxiety: Coping with Stress, Fear and uncertainty – Booklet
Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty – Booklet
|Phone Apps & Online Resources
CBTi-Coach – Great App for all aspects of sleep problems. Developed for US veterans with PTSD but great for everyone who doesn’t feel they get enough shut eye.
Thought Diary – App that helps you track and challenge difficult thinking patterns. Based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) that looks at how thoughts, feelings and behaviour inter-play and can be managed in a more positive way.
Self Help (NHS Northumberland, Tyne and Wear)
A complete series of booklets online developed by the NHS, for a wide variety of Mental Health issues. From Abuse, anxiety and alcoholism to guides for partners of people with depression.
|General Websites with Information on What to do in a Crisis / Mental Health Crisis:|
Coping with a Disaster or traumatic event –
Disaster distress helpline and brief self-help
|General Mental Health Self Help Guides, Blogs and Information:
Good thinking – https://www.good-thinking.uk/
https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/ – includes free apps for advice and support for mindfulness, mental health, exercise, student health, sleep and self-harm.
A brief guardian blog focusing on managing health anxiety symptoms – CBT related