Looking after your mental health
You might be worried about the new coronavirus and how it might affect you and your family, but you may also be worried about the way it could impact your everyday life. A concern for many people is having to stay at home or avoiding social contact because it’s not something we are used to.
The world has been pushed into uncertainty and the constant updates on every media outlet are probably not helping your anxieties. Being worried about the developing news is natural but it can have a direct impact on your mental health.
Although the rapid changes to everyday life may feel difficult and stressful, there are some things you and your family can do to help your wellbeing.
Limit the amount of news you watch and read
The media have an important role in keeping the public updated with the developments of the coronavirus outbreak. However, it is taking centre stage on the tv, in newspapers, on social media and on the radio, which can increase stress and anxiety.
So, a good first step to lower anxiety is to limit how much you read and watch about the coronavirus. It might be a good idea to have a specific time to watch the news, for example, the prime minister’s briefings and then carry on with your usual viewing.
Follow good hygiene principles
Current advice tells us that washing our hands thoroughly is the best way to reduce the risk of infection. However, individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder may find that hand washing advice can be a trigger for their condition, especially if the fear of contamination is a problem.
So, it’s good to keep washing your hands but if you struggle with the advice or find it is a trigger there are many support groups out there who can help.
Stay in touch with friends and family
With many of you already self-isolating or preparing to do so, both your family and social lives will inevitably be impacted. However, thanks to the advances in technology, there are many ways we can all stay connected. For example, we can chat via telephone, video calling, text messaging or emailing, all of which are instant.
If you are self-isolating or planning to do so, arranging regular check-in times can help to make you feel with the outside world.
Try to keep your diet as healthy as possible
Eating and drinking the right things can go a long way in keeping you mentally well. You must try to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day because they are packed full of nutrients your body needs to stay well.
Water is needed by your body for various reasons including keeping your immune system thriving. Therefore, it’s super important to stay hydrated if you are self-isolating.
Keep as active as you can
Boredom can be a major problem, particularly if you have been advised to stay indoors. However, there are many things you can do to help keep your body and brain active.
You could try activities, like:
- Playing an instrument
- Indoor exercises
- Board games
- Learning a new language
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures and even though your daily life may be impacted, there are lots of things you can do to keep your mind occupied and your focus away from the coronavirus outbreak. It’s always good to turn negative things into positives and being stuck in doesn’t need to be boring.