Top mental health tips for coronavirus times

We think we know what to do, in order to keep our lives on track during these difficult times. Keeping to a routine, talking to friends and relatives by phone or video-call… But it is reassuring to get expert advice on what the most important steps are. SELHuG supporter Isabel Muttreja works for national mental health charity Mind, and has sent us this:

Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, says: “Lots of us are feeling worried about coronavirus and staying at home. For those of us with mental health problems, this time may be even harder than usual. However, there are lots of things we can do to try and manage our mental health and wellbeing during this time.”

Here are his top tips:

  • Stay connected: Speaking to other people is essential for maintaining your wellbeing, so make sure you organise Skype or phone conversations with loved ones. There are also online peer-support groups and helplines you could look into.
  • Create a routine: We know that following a routine will help you manage this time. If you are staying at home, try to wake up at the same time as you normally would, keep up regular activities such as exercise, and plan activities to fill your day.
  • Keep yourself busy: You may not be working, but you can keep your mind stimulated by learning a new skill through an online course, reading a book or listening to an interesting podcast. Creative activities such as drawing, writing, DIY or yoga can help you relax and take your mind off daily worries.
  • Bring nature to you: Being in nature can help both your mental and physical wellbeing. While following the government regulations, try to get outside and go for a walk or run in a local green space if possible. You can also bring nature to you by simply sitting at an open window and listening to birds, or by growing plants or flowers in your house or garden.
  • Ask for help: If you have a mental health problem and are finding this time particularly hard, or if you feel that your mental health is being affected more than usual, ask for help. Mind’s website has lots of information on how to manage your mental health problems, as well as advice for those working on the frontline, for people on benefits and who have housing problems, on young people’s mental health, and on social care rights. Your GP can also provide support and advice on how to get help remotely.