PUBLIC Health England has launched new advice, focused on looking after people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic. It comes after new data showed over four in five people are worried about the effect coronavirus is having on their life and nearly half reporting high levels of anxiety.
PHE’s report ‘Every Mind Matters’ highlights the many things we can all do to look after our mental wellbeing and help others to prevent these concerns from becoming more serious.
Alongside the new Covid-19 mental health support, Every Mind Matters encourages people to complete a personal ‘Mind Plan’, a quick and free interactive tool offering tailored mental well-being advice.
The NHS-endorsed content has been developed in partnership with clinicians, academics and leading mental health charities and social enterprises including Mind, Mental Health Foundation, Samaritans, Rethink, Mental Health First Aid England, and offers authoritative, evidence based and practical support to the general public, as well as people with specific mental health concerns.
NHS’s Top 5 Tips for maintaining mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak:
1) Talk about your worries: it is normal to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Maintain contact with friends and family via phone and video calls to share how you are feeling.
2) Keep a regular routine and set goals: you may need to set a new routine for now. Try writing a plan for your day with the things you can still do at home, like watching a film, reading a book or completing a puzzle. Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose. Maintaining good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically too.
3) Manage your media and information intake: if 24-hour news and constant social media updates are making you worried, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to coverage to once or twice a day.
4) Do things you enjoy and try something new: focusing on your favourite hobby, learning something new, or simply taking time to relax indoors should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and feelings.
5) Look after your body: Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. You can leave your house, alone or with members of your household, for one form of exercise a day – like a walk, run or bike ride. But make you keep a safe two-metre distance from others.
For more information, search ‘Every Mind Matters’ or visit https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ to create your own personalised Mind Plan.