Coronavirus and Mental Health
10 TIPS TO HELP MAINTAIN YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Tip #1: Remind yourself this is only a temporary period
The key to this period is to remember it is only temporary. At some point things will return to normal, so you only need to plan for the next few weeks. You can make plans on how to get the most out of your day, knowing that it is only a temporary measure.
Tip #2: Exercise
This has a proven record at helping to improve a person’s mental health. According to Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind you should try and get exposure from the outside world. He says: "Our physical health and mental health are linked so try to create a routine that includes some physical exercise.
Tip #3: Keep in touch with family and friends
Technology nowadays means you don’t need to cut yourself off from the outside world. Anxiety UK says: "If you feel like you are beginning to struggle, take some time to call a friend or family member. Talk about how you’re feeling. If you don’t have anyone to speak to you can call emotional support lines like Samaritans or SANEline."
Tip #4: Use your garden
Fresh air also brings mental health benefits. You can use open spaces to collect your thoughts, do exercise, play games with your children and can even use it as an open study space.
Tip #5: Help the community
If you feel that you have a lot of free time you can use it in order to help the community. You can bring out your creative side to help local businesses, or you could volunteer your time to help people in need of support.
Tip #6: Try different things
Sitting in front of a screen is not the best way to spend large amounts of time. Among the things you can try could include downloading podcasts, watching box sets, doing arts and crafts, meditation, cooking, reading and writing. Find out why reading is essential here.
Tip #7: Try to have fun
You can improve your mental health by doing things that you enjoy. Whether that is listening to your favourite music, watching your favourite film, playing your favourite games and eating your favourite foods.
Tip #8: Get plenty of sleep
Emma Carrington, information manager at Mental Health UK says: "As far as possible, try to maintain as much as a routine as you can. Wake up and go to bed at healthy times to make sure you get enough sleep."
Tip #9: Maintain a good diet
You may find yourself wanting to eat unhealthy snacks and eating unbalanced meals as a way to entertain yourself.
Ms Carrington adds: "Do your best to eat well. If you haven’t got people who can bring food to you then see if you can sign up to home deliveries from your local supermarket.
"Have a look to see if there are any community support groups in your local area that can provide any support with shopping."
Tip #10: Avoid the news where possible
A constant negative stream of news can affect your mental health, so you can limit this intake. The World Health Organisation says: "A near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed. Seek information updates and practical guidance at specific times during the day."
Useful Links at this time:
National Autistic Society – guidance and helpline for parents’, young people and staff: https://www.autism.org.uk/services/nas-schools/vanguard/news/2020/march/coronavirus-(covid-19)-advice.aspx
Mencap - Easy Read guide to Coronavirus: https://www.mencap.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-03/Information%20about%20Coronavirus%20ER%20SS2.pdf
Place2Be – Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing: https://www.place2be.org.uk/about-us/news-and-blogs/2020/march/coronavirus-information-for-children/
Young Minds - Talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing: https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/talking-to-your-child-about-coronavirus/
Carers UK - Guidance for carers: https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/health/looking-after-your-health/coronavirus-covid-19
Covibook – an interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged 7 and under, designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic: https://www.mindheart.co/descargables
Amaze - information pack for parents https://amazesussex.org.uk/faqs-about-the-coronavirus-for-parent-carers-of-children-with-send-brighton-hove/
Kooth.com - online support for young people
We would like to remind you of the availability of our online service to support the wellbeing and resilience of your students.
Kooth is a web based confidential support service available to young people. Kooth provides a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support designed specifically for young people.
Kooth offers young people the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor. Counsellors are available from 12noon to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10 pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop-in basis. Young people can access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed. Outside counselling hours’ young people can message our team and get support by the next day.
When students register with Kooth they will have support available to them now and in the future. Support can be gained not only through counselling but articles, forums and discussion boards. All content is age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.
To find out more visit www.Kooth.com where young people can register and others can find out more about the service.
You can also view a short video about the service at: https://vimeo.com/318731977/a9f32c87de.