Everyone’s talking about physical wellbeing and practicalities around Coronavirus/Covid-19 at the moment but what about our mental wellbeing?

When faced with uncertainty it’s only natural for it to take a toll on our mental wellbeing, there are few things it’s worth reminding ourselves to keep our good mental health I check.

Feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed with the ever changing news is a perfectly normal and understandable reaction for anyone and will be heightened in people that have a mental health concern or a long-term physical health condition that makes you more vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus.

It might be easier said than done but don’t jump to assumptions about what is going to happen. To avoid causing yourself unnecessary anxiety make sure you use reputable sources to stay informed, social media as we know is not a reliable source for fact.

Follow hygiene advice, we’ve all been told it and actually should be doing it anyway. Wash your hands with soap often for 20 seconds and always when you get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough (into a tissue which you then throw away) and handle food. It’s important to use soap and water. If you can’t wash your hands straightaway, use hand sanitiser (if you can find any!) and then wash them at the next opportunity.

If you do feel unwell, in line with guidelines at the time of writing this people who newly develop corona virus symptoms however mild (either a new continuous cough or a high temperature above 37.8) but are not a confirmed case are being advised to self-isolate for at least seven days (or until the fever symptoms have gone).  The advice is not to phone 111 or to go to the GP unless symptoms worsen or last longer than seven days.

While we’ve joked about how self-isolation could be the retreat we need at the moment it’s important to recognise that it may have a very negative effect on someone’s mental wellbeing. It’s not a choice you will have made for yourself, it will mean a change in routine and might seem daunting, but you can make it work. Create a new routine for yourself, use the time to indulge in a hobby, watch a box set, reread your favourite books or learn something new.

Technology is your friend, use it to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues. Here at vivoHR we have made sure we all have our skype working so that if we all end up sat at our kitchen tables we can still be contact all day, we might even end up talking to each other more than normal if we’re not able to be out and about with our clients!

If you know someone who has poor mental wellbeing and is in self-isolation be the friend that keeps in touch, their mental isolation will be compounded by their self-isolation.

Most importantly remember that this won’t last forever.

Here are some links you might find useful.

GOV.UK for up-to-date information and advice on the virus

Shout is a 24/7 UK crisis text service available for times when you feel you need immediate emotional support. It is free and confidential. By texting ‘SHOUT’ to ‘85258’  you will be put in touch with a trained Crisis Volunteer (CV) who will chat to you using trained techniques via text.  The service is designed to help you think more clearly and to take your next steps to feeling better.

Samaritans Provide emotional support 24/7, offering a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. Call ‘116 123’ to speak to someone who will let you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles, and listen. If you don’t want to talk to anyone in person you can email mailto:jo@samaritans.org

Other support helplines can be found here

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