Coronavirus: 8 mental health survival tips
As COVID-19 continues to dominate the news, we all need to focus on staying healthy… mentally healthy. Taking proactive steps to look after your mental wellbeing can help you cope with anxiety and uncertainty and feel more in control of the situation. Here’s how.
- Get your news from official sources
Don’t just google for information and believe whatever shows up. Make a short list of legitimate news sources you know you can trust, like the World Health Organisation (WHO), the BBC or the European Commission, and make it a rule that you only get your news from these sources.
- Limit your news intake
Focus on your own life and the things you can control. The WHO’s advice is just to seek practical information so you can keep yourself safe – not fill your mind with doom predictions.
- Look after yourself
Try to make sure you’re eating well, sleeping well, exercising, and taking time to do things you find fun or relaxing, like meditation. See this as an opportunity to take better care of yourself.
- Connect with others
Keep in touch with your friends and family, and allow them to support you. Reach out to support others too – showing kindness to someone can boost your mental health as well as theirs.
- Think positive
Focus on positives in your life and in the world. Amplify the voices and images of local people who’ve recovered from coronavirus or helped a loved one recover.
- Acknowledge your feelings
Being positive doesn’t mean pretending you feel super-duper 24/7. If you’re scared, stressed out or just plain bored, acknowledge it to yourself and tell someone or write it down in a journal.
- Talk to your children about their worries
Children suffer from stress and anxiety too. Take time to answer their questions, reassure them and let them know it’s OK to be upset. Share how you cope with stress so they’ll learn from you.
- Get support from a professional
If you feel as if these tips don’t even scratch the surface of how you’re feeling, find out what professional support is available locally. Typing ‘peer support for mental health’ or ‘mental health service user organisations’ plus the name of your area into Google is a good place to start.
Finally, remember that the coronavirus will pass, and that help is always available. Taking proactive steps like following these tips can help you and your loved ones to relax and feel more in control.