Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus MH

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19),  can be scary and can affect our mental health. Here are some tips to help you look after your mental health at this difficult time.

Avoid speculation and use reputable sources of information

Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety and access to good quality information can help.  The central resource in England for up to date information and steps you can take to protect yourself and your family is available on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for the public pages.

Try to manage how you follow the outbreak in the media. If you find that the news is causing you huge stress, it’s important to find a balance. Perhaps find key times such as breakfast and evening news programmes to tune in to and then watch other types of shows to focus on other things.

Try to stay connected

Try to keep in touch with your family and friends even though you may not physically be meeting up.

Staying in touch through social media, video calls and phone calls will all help. Helplines such as Samaritans (call 116 123 and jo@Samaritans.org.uk) are also available.

Talk to your children

Involving our family and children in developments is helpful. We need to be alert to and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them without causing alarm.

Explaining the facts to them and discussing the news can be helpful but try to avoid over-exposure to coverage of the virus. 

Get your 5-a-day

Our Dietetics Team recently produced a video on healthy eating, including advice and tips on getting your five a day, increasing fibre, decreasing sugar, decreasing saturated fat and staying active, all of which are vital for your general wellbeing.

Do things that make you feel good

Try to keep life as normal as possible and, wherever possible, continue doing activities you enjoy. For example, listen to music that soothes you or makes you want to dance, catch up on films and books, or do something you enjoy like gardening, baking, crafts etc.

More ideas, tips and resources are available on the Mental Health Foundation's Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak page.

Now More Than Ever, Every Mind Matters

PHE have launched a new campaign to support people to manage their mental wellbeing during this difficult time, using Every Mind Matters self-care resources.