World Mental Health Day – Improve your Mental Wellbeing

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is impacting all our lives, and we know that the usual advice might not quite apply. Some ideas for looking after yourself may feel unrealistic right now. And some treatment and support options will be harder to access, or maybe unavailable for a while. But we hope that you can still find information here that helps you understand what you’re going through, and find a path forward.

Good mental wellbeing doesn’t mean you’re always happy or unaffected by your experiences. But poor mental wellbeing can make it more difficult to cope with daily life.

Tips for improving your mental wellbeing

There are lots of things we can try to take care of our wellbeing. But it’s not always easy to start. You might find it helpful to:

• only try what feels comfortable
• give yourself time to figure out what works for you, going at your own pace
• take small steps. Pick one or two things that feel achievable at first, before moving on to try other ideas.

Connect with friends & family

Maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family while you are all staying at home – by phone, messaging, video calls or social media – whether it’s people you usually see often or connecting with old friends. Lots of people are finding the current situation difficult, so staying in touch could help them too.

Share your feelings with those close to you

It’s normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember: it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.

Look after your physical wellbeing

Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that end up making you feel worse. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking or drugs, and try not to drink too much alcohol.

Don’t stay glued to the news

It’s good to keep yourself updated as to what happening globally and in your local area. Try to limit the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to coverage of the outbreak, including on social media. You could set yourself a specific time to read updates or limit yourself to checking a couple of times a day.

Do the things you enjoy

If there is something you enjoy doing make an effort and set aside time to focus on your favourite hobby. Or take up a new hobby.

Take time to relax

We all have busy lives but it’s important to take a timeout now and again (chill time). This can help with difficult emotions and worries and improve our Wellbeing. Relaxation techniques can also help deal with feelings of anxiety.

Plan your day

Normal routines have been disrupted for many. Think about how you can adapt and create a positive new routine and set yourself goals. You might find it helpful to write a plan for your day or your week. If you are working from home, try to get up and get ready in the same way as normal, keep to the same hours you would normally work and stick to the same sleeping schedule.

Get a good night’s sleep

Good-quality sleep makes a big difference in how we feel, so it’s important to get enough. Try to maintain your regular sleeping pattern and stick to good sleep practices. While sleep requirements vary from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

Keep your mind active

Cognitive training sounds intimidating, even scary. But it really just refers to taking part in activities that engage your brain. You can keep your mind active with puzzles and games, computer games. Do something that challenges you.

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Mental Health Support Services

Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org

Mind also offer mental health support between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can call them on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463. There is also lots of information available on their website.

Campaign Against Living Miserably’s (CALM) helpline and webchat are open from 5 pm until midnight, 365 days a year. Call CALM on 0800 58 58 58 or chat to their trained helpline staff online. No matter who you are or what you’re going through, it’s free, anonymous, and confidential.