Coronavirus: taking care of your mental wellbeing
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 should be staying at home as much as possible to help protect the NHS and save lives.
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:
You can also follow NHS Leeds - @NHSLeeds.
Try to limit time on social media
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.
Look after your wellbeing while staying at home
From 5 January we should all be staying at home as much as possible to protect the NHS and save lives.
It's important to look after your physical and mental health during these challenging times and continue with your usual self-care routines.
- Eat sensibly - make sure you're eating a eating a healthy, balanced diet (and at regular times). If you have the the symptoms of coronavirus ask friends or a delivery service to drop off food for you (include fruit and vegetables). Make sure you stay at least two metres away from other people.
- Drink plenty of water - the NHS recommends 6 to 8 glasses a day.
- Keep moving - why not try yoga, stretching or walking up the stairs?
- Stay connected with your support network - keep in touch by phone, Whatsapp or Zoom. Or, join a moderated peer support community such as Elefriends or Clic.
- 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 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.
- Take time to relax - spend time each day doing activities you enjoy and find ways to relax.
- Be creative - MindWell has lots of ideas to get creative that you can do at home and information about online activities and local groups.
Follow @MindWellLeeds on Twitter for self-care ideas and useful information.
You can find more helpful information at:
- NHS.uk - Stay at home (self-isolating) advice (coronavirus)
- MindWell Coronavirus Mental Health Information Hub
- Advice from Carers UK
- Through the Maze - EasyRead guidance
- Public Health England - guidance in BSL
- Signhealth - guidance in BSL
- Mind: Coronavirus and your wellbeing
- Mental Health Foundation: Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
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