There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic is having a collective impact on the world’s mental heatlh. It now more important than ever for each of us to consider how we can look after our own emotional wellbeing proactively as far as possible.
At PPL we find it helpful to recognise that while the pandemic is a global event, everyone is experiencing it differently. People are facing different challenges in different circumstances and no one’s reaction will be quite the same as anyone else’s. There is no ‘right way’ to be at the moment and no single solution for everyone.
In light of this, we have therefore put together a curated selection of suggested resources that we think could be helpful in different situations. This list has come from our colleagues, who have shared what is working for them, and from our Mental Health First Aid team, made up of Mental Health First Aiders and a former mental health nurse. We have also put together a list of top tips, which may not all work for you, but have helped some of us adjust to these unprecedented challenges.
We hope you find the selection below helpful. We would like to thank all the organisations whose resources are linked to below for creating and sharing them.
Our top tips
Some practical tips:
- Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied throughout the day and includes time for self-care as well as work.
- Set limits around your working day. You may find that some days are more productive than others. Resist the temptation to compensate for lost productivity by working round the clock.
- Dress for the life you want, not the life you have! Have a shower, wash your face, brush your teeth and get dressed in clothes that are comfortable and make you feel good. Bright colours and wearing clothes that you love can really lift your mood.
- Get out at least once a day, ideally for at least thirty minutes. If you are worried about contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, If you are high risk or living with someone else who is, open the windows and let the air in – a bit of fresh air can do wonders for your mood.
- Find some time to move each day, again try for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, access some of YouTube’s many online workouts, or just turn on the music up and dance round your bedroom!
- Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once a day for thirty minutes. The days where you don’t feel like engaging might just be the days that you need the contact the most.
- Stay hydrated and eat well. Include reminders to have meals/snacks and a healthy drink in your schedule if you are likely to forget.
Resources for further reading
- Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty - a 15-20 minute read including tools and techniques to help you understand and manage worries and anxieties
- Surviving the coronavirus lockdown and social isolation – a very comprehensive read covering everything from mastering mind and body, home-schooling, organisational leadership and personal stories
- Coronavirus and your wellbeing – an easy to digest guide from Mind covering mental health, wellbeing, and practical advice around work and housing
- Coping with coronavirus – links to a series of short (1-5 page) self-help guides and techniques
- Your mind plan – a short online quiz that will provide you with guidance on looking after your mental health that is tailored to your situation
- Getting started with mindfulness – one-page summary of mindfulness and some techniques to get your started
- COVID-19 advice for parents and carers – a quick (10 min) read focusing mainly on when and how to talk to children about coronavirus, and how to respond to their concerns
- Talking to children about coronavirus – a one pager of top tips
- Supporting young people’s mental health – detailed and searchable guidance covering supporting children who have varying needs and are of different ages
- Supporting teenagers during coronavirus – a specific guide with lots of practical ideas tailored for parents of teenagers
- https://www.rivierawellbeing.com/til-coronavirus-do-us-apart/ - a 5 minute read on tips to help your relationship survive lockdown if you are isolating together
- Guidance on nurturing relationships – a short blog that covers ways to keep relationships strong if you are isolating separately
For people worried about someone else in their life:
- If you’re worried about someone else - a small selection of tips for ways to start difficult conversations with people you care about
For people with existing mental health problems:
- Living with the pandemic if you already have mental health problems – a specific list of advice tailored to people with pre-existing mental illness