Mental Wellbeing during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted: Monday 18th May 2020 - 11:14 AM


The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the entire country having to make significant changes to our lifestyle, within a short time we find ourselves isolated from our normal and usual ways of living. As with any major lifestyle change we have to psychologically adjust.

This adjustment often takes a toll on our mental health and even on our relationships with others and alongside this adjustment is a fear of the unknown. At times we may start to feel stressed, anxious and depressed which can be quite normal given the changes that we are having to make. To help us to deal with this adjustment we have to develop new coping strategies and new routines.

Listed below are 10 tips to help our mental health during the pandemic.

1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

  • Eat Healthy

Eating a healthy well-balanced diet is good for our overall wellbeing. The governments Eat Well strategy gives advice on healthy eating and is can be found here.

  • Get enough sleep and rest

The amount of sleep that we need varies from individual to individual and a large proportion of society at times suffers from some form of sleep disturbance. Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS foundation Trust provide self-help booklet to help with sleep problems which you can find here.

  • Take regular exercise

Regular exercise is good for mental health, this can include Jogging, home exercise, gardening, walking, decorating and other forms of housework. Exercise needs to be done within the government’s guidelines on Coronavirus.

2. Keep up to date with the news

  • News can increase and reduce anxiety, make sure that the news is accurate and from a good source, the UK government will provide regular updates.
  • If you feel unable to cope with the news - turn it off.
  • Try not to watch too much about coronavirus as this can become overwhelming. Put 30-60 minutes aside each day to watch the news.

3. Manage things that are controllable

  • There are things that we can control and can be dealt with.
  • There are things that we can partly control, so deal with what’s within our control.
  • There are things outside our control. Put these to one side as they will cause unnecessary worry.

4. Stay connected with people

  • Social interaction can be good for our mental health. Keep in touch with family and friends on at least a daily basis.
  • Telephone, text or use social media to stay in touch.
  • Speak to people who we can confide in about our own feelings and thoughts.

5. Develop a routine

  • Routine and structure are good for mental health.
  • Establish a new routine which can include doing a daily plan.
  • Do not sit around in night wear each day, get up and dressed at a similar time each day. Do not spend too much time lying in bed.
  • Set Goals

6. Be creative

  • Build on established hobbies and interests that can be done from home.
  • Develop new hobbies and interests that can be done within the home.
  • Enrol on online educational courses, some are free. The Open University offers a number of free courses through its Open Learn programme.
  • Support others within your local community but ensure that this is done within government coronavirus guidelines.

 7. Lift your spirits

  • Treat yourself.
  • Enjoy a nice meal in.
  • See this time as being an opportunity to do something different.
  • Think about what you would like to do when the pandemic has ended.
  • Do those ‘important jobs’ that you have put off.

8. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a resource for life and is aimed at helping us to manage stress, it uses methods to bring us into the here and now rather than worrying about the past or the future.

It encourages us to pay attention to feeling thoughts and bodily sensations and uses meditation. There are lots of free Mindfulness materials/courses online, the NHS approve an online paid course provided by Be Mindful.

9. Use relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques are used to help us manage stress, they use techniques such has imagery, muscle relaxation and deep breathing. There are several websites offering free relaxation sessions, one of these is the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust website.

 10. Self-help materials

There are lots of self-help materials online to help with a number of mental health issues.

The Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS foundation Trust have free self-help booklets online and cover a lot of different subjects.

There are a range of other websites and sources that can help us all:

Should you have any concerns about your own or any one else’s mental health than seek professional help and advice. 

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