How will the Coronavirus affect our mental health?

Anyone with a mental health illness can tell you that being locked indoors with nothing to do is possibly one of the worst things for them. 

With the UK and a number of other countries being forced into national lockdown in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, it is no wonder people that are dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are worried…

We know that it can be difficult to see the bright side of things in these situations, whether you have a mental health problem or not.

To help you out a little, we have compiled a list of things to do to help yourself during this uncertain period.

Follow Health and Safety Precautions

The most important thing to do, whether you suffer from mental health difficulties or not, is to adhere to the guidelines set out by the government. You can read more about these here. But the basic message is:

Stay at home – A national lockdown was announced by the prime minister which means people can only leave their home for essential travel, including food shopping, key workers that cannot work from home and for one hour of exercise per person each day.

This is to slow down the spread of the virus and eventually eradicate the virus altogether.

Socially Distance – If it is necessary that you have to leave your house, it is advised that you engage in social distancing.

This means standing at least 2 meters apart from people in shops or outside.

Avoid the spread of the virus – The best way to avoid spreading and catching the COVID-19 virus is to wash your hands as much as possible, particularly when you enter your home.

This helps to kill the virus on your hands so you cannot pass it onto others or catch it through touching your face.

We would recommend you use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that is effective in killing bacteria and viruses like the Coronavirus.

Have a routine

We are most likely to worsen our mental health through a lack of routine in a time like this, especially for those who live alone.

That is why we would recommend cultivating a working routine so that you can get the most out of the day, and avoid doing nothing and letting your mental health deteriorate through this. Take a look at these quarantine routine examples

Getting up at a reasonable hour – Getting up early and being active has been proven to improve mental health, as well as decreasing the chances of them developing in people.

Engaging in exercise – While the government has limited us each to one hour of exercise a day, exercise is a key part of improving mental health, so it is necessary that we make the most of this hour to get in that vital exercise.

It has been proven that engaging in moderate exercise is an effective way of lessening mental health problems such as depression as well as improving it for those who suffer.

If you want to go for a walk or do an intensive training session, there are a number of ways you could fill this hour of exercise not only to improve your physical wellbeing but your mental wellbeing in such difficult times

Stay connected and up to date

While the news can often cause more worry and anxiety than good, it is important that you stay up to date with the situation and are making sure you are aware of any changes to the guidelines.

The best way to do this whilst avoiding more distress is to follow a reputable and up to date news source.  See some suggested news links below

Coronavirus – BBC News

The World Health Organisation on Twitter

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – NHS – NHS

What you need to do – GOV.UK- Coronavirus (COVID-19)