COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Mental Health Advice
Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be scary and affect our mental health. Experts are saying that whilst it is important to stay informed about current trends, advice and policies associated with the coronavirus, we should try and stay aware instead of anxious as this can have a profound impact on our wellbeing.
During this time, it is of course, paramount to look after our health, and not just our physical health, but our mental health too. Below is some advice and recommendations based from government policy, the National Health Service, Mind, the Mental Health Foundation and the Mental health officers at Watford FC CSE Trust.
First, if you are going to look up and research the coronavirus, make sure that you look up reputable sources and use websites such as Gov.uk or the NHS and avoid gathering information from social media platforms.
Try and keep in contact with your friends and family, or contact a helpline for emotional and psychological support. Although it is preferable to see these individuals personally, this can be difficult at this time, so we would recommend using social media or the phone as these can be an effective way to be close to the people around you
Try and stick to your daily routine as much as possible
Try and stick to a healthy lifestyle (diet, sleeping behaviours, staying hydrated, attempt to get as much sunlight as possible etc.)
Use tools and apps such as Headspace or My Possible Self
Utilise coping strategies that help you to calm down and prioritise yourself. This includes behaviours such as: Talking to someone and spending time with friends, breathing exercises, exercise or physical activity, listen to music, watch TV, movies or play video games, Drawing or art or reading
If self-isolation or quarantine is a worry, try and use this as a period of time to create a daily routine that prioritises yourself, you can do this by reading more, watching movies, having an at home exercise routine (see Rhys’ videos), try relaxation techniques or meditation (box breathing)
Don’t be afraid to reach out
Count to 10: Slowly count to 10 breathing between each number 1-Breathe, 2-Breathe, 3-Breathe, 4-Breathe, 5-Breathe, 6-Breathe, 7-Breathe, 8-Breathe, 9-Breathe, 10-Breathe
Find something in the room that resembles a square or rectangle. Start at the top left corner and work your way to the right with your eyes, whilst slowly breathing in for 4 seconds. Then go down the right hand side and hold your breath for 4 seconds. Then work your way back to the left hand side, breathing out for 4 seconds. Then go back towards the top left of the square (where you started) by holding your breath for 4 seconds and then repeat if needed.
Start by breathing in for 4 seconds, and then breathing out for 4 seconds and repeat this 4 times. Once this is done, follow these simple steps. Say out loud (or in your head):
5 things that you can see around you
4 things that you can touch around you
3 things that you can hear
2 things that you can smell
1 thing you can taste