Coronavirus and looking after your wellbeing

It is a worrying time and it is really important that we also look after our mental health. It is OK to feel anxious, scared, low or frustrated, everyone will respond differently and there is no right way to feel.

There are lots of things that you can do to help you cope. Here are our top tips for looking after yourself whilst you're self-isolating or staying at home.

Take care with news and information

Continuous coverage of coronavirus news could cause some people to feel anxious or distressed.

  • Avoid watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed. Set specific times to look for information or read the news.
  • Stick to the facts. Only reading credible sources (NHS and Government) of information can help you avoid the fear and panic that misinformation may cause, which can fuel anxiety. 
  • Look out for and share positive stories. The vast majority of people recover from coronavirus (COVID-19) and will be supporting loved ones and their communities.

Plan ahead for staying at home

  • If you're self isolating or just reducing your social contact then plan ahead.
  • Think about what you will need in terms of food, medication and supplies in order to be able to stay at home for the full 7 or 14 days and take action early.
  • A written plan can help and think about what you'll do if you need medical care.
  • Talk to your employer, friends and family to ask for their help to access the things you will need or order supplies online to make your stay at home a success. If you're self isolating make sure things are left outside your home for you to collect.
  • Read about what coronavirus means for you by Citizens Advice

How to get help in a mental health crisis?

If you need help for a mental health crisis, emergency or breakdown, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment.

It's important to know that support is available, even if services seem busy at the moment because of coronavirus.

Get support

Top tips for keeping mentally well while staying at home

Look after yourself

  • Eat well and stay hydrated
  • Keep taking your medication. Ask your pharmacist about getting your medication delivered
  • Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep up good sleep hygiene practices – like avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment

Exercise

  • Exercise can be a great way to relax, keep you well and take your mind off things
  • You can exercise outside providing you keep a safe distance (2 metres) away from others
  • Look for ideas of exercises you can do at home. Easy, low impact exercises, NHS Fitness Studio and home workout videos. Other online classes or courses can help you take light exercise at home

Stay connected

  • Keep in touch with friends and family over the phone or through social media
  • Plan video chats with friends/family or people you would normally see in person
  • Connect with nature even if you are stuck in your house
  • Talk about your worries with others. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead

Stay entertained

  • Think about things you can do during your time at home. Perhaps you can learn a new skill (e.g. a new language, painting, knitting, sewing, cooking)
  • Keep your mind active by reading, writing, playing games, doing crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting.  Find something that works for you.
  • Richmond upon Thames Libraries has an e-Library so you can access ebooks, e magazines and audio guides 
  • People who have successfully completed a period of staying at home have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, online learning and watching films/TV

Further information:

Public Health England advice

Information and resources from MIND

NHS Every Mind Matters- COVID19 anxiety tips

NHS Every Mind Matters- Trouble sleeping?

Public Health England's advice

5 ways to wellbeing- produced by Richmond Council 

Anxiety UK- regular webinars on how to deal with anxiety around coronavirus

Helplines- Where to get further mental health support?

Richmond Wellbeing Service

The Richmond Wellbeing Service​ is for residents of Richmond who experience depression, anxiety, sadness, stress, extreme shyness, obsessive behaviour, phobias, relationship difficulties or other psychological issues which are holding them back in their lives.

020 8548 5550

rws@nhs.net

Monday - Friday 8.15am - 5pm​

Samaritans

If you need to speak to someone you can call the Samaritans. They're always open and are there to listen.

116 123

Cruse

Cruse Bereavement Care provide bereavement support to people across the UK. Talk of death in the news and online can be distressing if you're already struggling with grief. If you need someone to talk to you can call the Cruse helpline. You can also talk to them if you've been bereaved as a result of Coronavirus.

0808 808 1677

Monday-Friday 9.30am - 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when they're open until 8pm.

Mind 

Mind is a mental health charity which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. 

Mental Health Foundation

The UK's charity for everyone's mental health, promoting good mental health for all.

Looking for further information about coronavirus?

We have brought together the latest information about coronavirus including how you can get involved and help your community, and how to help your wellbeing during these uncertain times. 

Find out more