During the Coronavirus outbreak, many people are feeling a heightened sense of stress and anxiety. It is important to protect your mental health, but a range of factors are making this increasingly difficult during the pandemic. Here are some tips for anyone who is struggling with their mental health:
Limit Your News Intake
We all want to stay informed. Thanks to the internet and social media, it has never been easier to keep up with current affairs. On the other hand, it has never been harder to tear ourselves away. In times like these, the 24-hour news cycle can be stressful and overwhelming. First and foremost, always use a trusted news source. The WHO gives regular updates on the virus and is a great source reliable information. Social media on the other hand is rarely a reliable news source. Many people exaggerate or sensationalise stories online in a phenomenon known as ‘clickbait’. If you aren’t sure whether something is true, a quick Google search can help you fact check. Above all, if you are feeling anxious, consider logging off for a while.
Of course, this is not to say you shouldn’t watch the news at all. Instead, find a middle ground. Set aside a dedicated time to watch the news and take in any relevant information. Outside of that time, try to limit your intake by turning off the TV or radio or switching the channel. If you’re looking for ways to occupy yourself, our blog is full of ideas. Why not check out our simple guide to mindfulness or our exercise tips for older people? Exercise can be a great distraction, as well as a helpful boost to health and fitness.
Avoid Using Unhelpful Coping Strategies
It can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits in such a distressing time. To illustrate: throughout March, alcohol sales in the UK rose by 22%. Drinking, along with other harmful coping strategies, may give you a quick boost, but in the long-term it can worsen your mental and physical health. Look for positive outlets instead. Focus on taking up a new hobby, keeping in touch with loved ones or getting some fresh air.
There is a definite link between good physical health and good mental health. We may not be able to leave the house, but we should still try to exercise daily where we can. If your mobility is restricted we have compiled a useful list of simple exercises you can do at home.
In times of stress, we naturally turn to our loves ones for comfort. Obviously, the pandemic presents particular challenges for those who live alone. This is why it is so important to keep in contact with family and friends by telephone, email or social media. If you feel you do not have anyone to speak to, Age UK’s Call in Time is a free service which connects like-minded people over the telephone. There are also several services and helplines which aim help those who are struggling.
If you are using social media to communicate with loved ones, make sure you pay attention to how it is making you feel. Social media is notorious for spreading misinformation and this can increase stress at the best of times. If there are any particular accounts which are making you anxious or distressed, consider muting or unfollowing them for the time being.
Try to Anticipate Distress
This virus has disrupted everyday life and caused uncertainty for people across the world. For elderly people and those with underlying health conditions, this can be especially distressing. If you are frequently feeling anxious or scared, try to remember that these circumstances are out of your control. Instead, focus on the things you can control, like eating well, exercising, and speaking to friends and family. Pay attention to your mental health in order to learn how to protect it.
Talk About How You Are Feeling:
These are unprecedented times. It’s therefore completely natural to feel a bit worried about the virus. However, bottling up these worries can be damaging to mental health. Talking to a relative or trusted friend can make a huge difference. Sometimes, it’s helpful just to know that someone else shares your concerns. If someone is speaking to you about their worries, it is important to listen to them and try to empathise. Even though we may be physically distant from our loved ones, it is important to stay connected socially.
Remember That Support is Still Available:
Although Coronavirus has put a stop to many things, plenty of helplines and services are still available. At Careline, we want to reassure you that we are still working 24/7 to keep our customers safe in isolation. We send all our equipment our pre-programmed so we can ensure a contactless setup.
If you think you or someone you know could benefit from a Careline alarm, you can order online today. Or, if you would like to find out more, give us a call on 0800 101 3333. Our friendly Customer Service team is available 24/7 to answer any questions you might have.