Coronavirus: taking care of your mental wellbeing

For up-to-date health information and advice on the coronavirus go to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or www.gov.uk

You can also find national guidance about looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak from Public Health England.

There's a lot in the news and on social media about the coronavirus and many people are feeling worried or anxious about the current situation.

If you're already struggling with mental health difficulties, you may be feeling greater anxiety at this difficult time, especially now that we must all stay at home to help protect the NHS and save lives.

Keep calm

MindWell, the mental health website for people in Leeds, has resources and tools that can help if you're feeling panicky or anxious:

Follow official guidance

Avoid false reports and speculation about the coronavirus on social media. Follow guidance from trusted sources such as www.nhs.uk or www.gov.uk. NHS England has worked with Twitter UK to get national and regional NHS Twitter accounts verified with Twitter's blue tick - so you know who you're following. See:

  • NHS England - @NHSEngland;
  • Public Health England - @PHE_uk;
  • UK Government - @GOVUK.

You can also follow NHS Leeds - @nhsleeds.

If there are other social media accounts that you find upsetting or make you feel anxious, then try muting or unfollowing them. Consider having a digital detox and taking some time off from social media each day.

Take care of your physical and mental health

It's important to look after your health during these challenging times and continue with your usual self-care routines. Make sure you're eating a healthy diet (at regular times), staying hydrated, taking time to relax each day and sleeping well.

Follow @MindWellLeeds on Twitter. MindWell will be running a #SpringtimeMeTime self-care campaign from 20 March with ideas to help you stay well at this time.

Look after your wellbeing if you're staying at home

If you have the symptoms of coronavirus you must stay at home for 7 days (and avoid contact with other people).

  • Eat sensibly - ask friends or a delivery service to drop off food for you (include fruit and vegetables). Make sure you stay at least 2 metres away from other people.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Keep moving - do not leave the house for a walk. Why not try yoga, stretching or walking up the stairs?
  • Stay connected with your support network - keep in touch by phone or instant message. Or, join a moderated peer support community such as Elefriends.
  • Keep taking any prescribed medication - you may be able to order a repeat prescription using an app or website if your GP surgery offers this. You could also ask your pharmacy about getting it delivered. Call NHS 111 if you're worried about getting your medication.
  • Try to get enough sleep (alone if you're self isolating / staying at home if possible) and keep to a daily routine.
  • Keep busy - read a book, try an online course, catch up on life admin or do some decluttering.
  • Find ways to relax and be creative - MindWell has lots of ideas to get creative that you can do at home.

You can find more helpful information at:

Find support

If you are struggling - remember that you're not alone. There's always someone to talk to.

You can find helplines and local services at: www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk/help Some services have adapted the way they are offering help due to social distancing guidance - please be aware of service updates

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