The coronavirus continues to dominate the news and conversations at home and in work. You can become overwhelmed with information and start to think about how the situation could affect your life.
This might feel difficult or stressful.
We are encouraging you to look after not only your physical health but your mental wellbeing during these testing times.
Shielding ourselves from the effects of the relentless background noise is extremely important. Follow the professionals’ advice by paying attention to hygiene but don’t forget to care for your emotional self as well.
Here are some basic steps that you can take:
1. Connect with the people around you
Working on relationships with friends, family and colleagues will help build positive thoughts and banish negative ones. A text, an e-mail, a phone call; all are easy ways to connect, especially if you’re following medical advice and limiting physical contact with others.
2. Be active
Exercising brings two benefits: It improves your physical health and it makes you feel good, helping to build up your wellbeing. From going for a run to taking a leisurely stroll, getting active is a straightforward way to lift your mood. Even if you’re self-isolating, you can be active at home by cleaning your house, following online workouts, doing Sudoku puzzles or completing crosswords. It’s vital to keep your mind and body busy; any meaningful activity is a plus.
3. Pay attention
There’s a whole world around you, beyond the social media feeds and news broadcasts. Take some time to appreciate the simple, pleasant things in everyday life, be they friends, hobbies, sights, sounds or smells.
4. Focus on facts
Stay connected with current events but ensure that you are basing your actions and thoughts on facts, not emotions – as such, be wary of how social media impacts you. NHS guidance on the coronavirus is constantly updated, as is the European Union’s assessment of the situation. If news stories distress or confuse you, consider limiting your screen time.
5. Be Kind
At times like these, people are feeling anxious. A sense of community can help ease these fears and foster a sense that we’re all in this together. While focusing on yourself, don’t forget that there are vulnerable and lonely people all around. Do something nice for a friend or stranger; volunteer your time or consider contributing to charity or a food bank. Linking your happiness to the happiness of the wider world can be very rewarding.