Condensed advice from “Government Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus“
The coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak is having an impact on everyone’s daily lives, as the government and the NHS take necessary steps to manage the outbreak, reduce transmission and treat those who need medical attention.
During this time, you may be bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also feel low, worried, anxious, or be concerned about your health or that of those close to you. Everyone reacts differently to events and changes in the way that we think, feel and behave vary between different people and over time. It’s important that you take care of your mind as well as your body and to get further support if you need it.
Most people will find strategies that work for them and the difficult feelings associated with the outbreak will pass. Some people, especially those with pre-existing mental health problems, may need extra support.
Here are some of the ways you can take care of your mind:
- Look after your physical wellbeing: Your physical health can have a big impact on how you’re feeling. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise regularly and spend plenty of time outside.
- Look after your sleep: Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep good sleep practices – get in a routine! It doesn’t matter what the routine is, just go to bed and wake up at regular times. This sets your sleep cycle, influences your circadian rhythms, which regulate your mood.
- Think about your new routine: Life is changing for us all for a while. Think about how you can adapt and create positive new routines – try to engage in useful activities (such as cleaning, cooking or exercise) or meaningful activities (such as reading or partaking in a hobby).
- Talk about your worries: This is a difficult time for everyone and sharing how you are feeling and the things you are doing to cope with family and friends can help. If you don’t feel able to do this, there are a range of NHS recommended helplines.
- Get outside or bring nature in: Spending time in green spaces can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. Sit in your garden if you can, and open windows to let in fresh air.
- Set goals: Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose – think about things you want or need to do that you can still do at home. If you need motivation, try and leave lockdown better than you were before. This can be a time for self improvement! You can still be productive with your time in lockdown!
We’re living in extraordinary times right now, and it can sometimes feel or be overwhelming. There is an exhaustive amount of information available about Coronavirus, and it can be hard to know where to start, and that’s why we have created this space. It’s a central place for you to explore, where you can find information, resources & tools – from practical advice on how to talk to your children about the pandemic, to tips on managing anxiety and much more.
Visit it here.
Importance of Staying Active
We’ve already mentioned how looking after your physical wellbeing is important, but we want to stress just how it can make you feel better.
Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication—but without the side-effects, of course. As one example, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26% – all the while releasing endorphins in your brain.
Exercising with a goal in mind can give you a sense of purpose; a sense of responsibility. By looking for the best in yourself and pushing yourself to physically improve (such as running faster or lifting a heavier weight), it can provide your life with an extra sense of purpose and responsibility. We understand that indoor gyms and pools are closed, but there ares till plenty of opportunities for exercise out there.
When faced with mental or emotional challenges in life, exercise can help you cope in a healthy way, instead of resorting to alcohol, drugs, or other negative behaviours that ultimately only make your symptoms worse. Regular exercise can also help boost your immune system and reduce the impact of stress.
See the NHS exercise guidelines here, but keep in mind that these are the minimum recommendations!.
Mindful and Motivational Videos:
CGP Grey – Lockdown Productivity: Spaceship You
For those stuck inside and feeling isolated. A reminder to re-introduce responsibility and strict physical boundaries into your life. “Keep your core spinning”.
Kurzgesagt – An Antidote to Dissatisfaction
A reminder of the importance of gratitude. A practical approach to mindfulness and one’s outlook on relationships.
Kurzgesagt – Loneliness
Everybody feels lonely sometimes. Why do we feel this way and what can we do about it?
Lindybeige – Emergency video to be played in times of crisis
Click play. Unleash optimism. Feel gratitude. Be happy.
Portsmouth Music Hub – Walk to School
Walking to school is great for our well being.