Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters platform has launched new advice, focussed on looking after people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It has been updated after new data shows over 4 in 5 (84.2%) Brits are worried about the effect that coronavirus is having on their life, with over half (53.1%) saying it was affecting their well-being and nearly half (46.9%) reporting high levels of anxiety.
With many feeling worried, anxious or isolated during these challenging times, Every Mind Matters highlights that there are lots of things we can all do to look after our mental wellbeing and help others to prevent these concerns from becoming more serious. The range of new resources, designed specifically to help manage our mental wellbeing during coronavirus, include a tailored COVID-19 Mind Plan, COVID-19 specific content for individuals and their loved ones, and support for specific mental wellbeing issues such as anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping. The website signposts people to activities such as mindful breathing exercises, help reframing unhelpful thoughts, and muscle relaxation.
Top 5 Tips for maintaining mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak
- Talk about your worries: it is normal to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Maintain contact with friends and family via phone and video calls to share how you are feeling.
- Keep a regular routine and set goals: you may need to set a new routine for now. Try writing a plan for your day with the things you can still do at home, like watching a film, reading a book or completing a puzzle. Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose. Maintaining good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically too, so it’s important to get enough.
- Manage your media and information intake: if 24-hour news and constant social media updates are making you worried, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to coverage of the outbreak to once or twice a day.
- Do things you enjoy and try something new: focussing on your favourite hobby, learning something new, or simply taking time to relax indoors should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and feelings and can help boost your mood. Look online for lots of free tutorials and courses.
- Look after your body: 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. You can leave your house, alone or with members of your household, for one form of exercise a day – like a walk, run or bike ride. But make you keep a safe 2-metre distance from others
For more information, search ‘Every Mind Matters’ or visit https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/everymind-matters/ to create your personalised Mind Plan.