The spread of coronavirus is a new and challenging event. The government is telling us to stay at home and only go outside for food supplies, health reasons, essential work or exercise within 2 km of your home. They are also asking us to stay 2 metres away from other people and wash our hands as soon as we get home. This means that we are all spending a lot of time indoors and we cannot participate in many of our normal social activities. This can have an affect on your mental health.
The Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) have issued some practical advice below around protecting your mental health during this time. https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html
Here are some tips to follow:
The constant stream of social media updates and news reports about coronavirus could cause you to feel worried. Sometimes it can be difficult to separate facts from rumours. Use trustworthy and reliable sources to get your news.
On social media, people may talk about their own worries or beliefs. You don’t need to make them your own. Too much time on social media may increase your worry and levels of anxiety. Consider limiting how much time you spend on social media.
If you find the coverage on coronavirus is too intense for you, talk it through with someone close or get support.
Your routine may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak in different ways. However, during difficult times like this, it’s best if you can keep some structure in your day.
It is important to pay attention to your needs and feelings, especially during times of stress. You may still be able to do some of the things you enjoy and find relaxing.
For example, you could try to:
During times of stress, friends and families can be a good source of support. It is important to keep in touch with them and other people in your life.
If you need to restrict your movements or self-isolate, try to stay connected to people in other ways, for example:
Many video calling apps allow you to have video calls with multiple people at the same time.
Remember that talking things through with someone can help lessen worry or anxiety. You don’t have to appear to be strong or to try to cope with things by yourself.
It is understandable to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed reading or hearing news about the outbreak.
Acknowledge these feelings. Remind yourself and others to look after your physical and mental health. If you smoke or drink, try to avoid doing this any more than usual. It will not help in the long-term.
Do not judge people or make assumptions about who is responsible for the spread of the disease. The coronavirus can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, nationality or ethnicity. We are all in this together.
Face-to-face services are limited at the moment because of the coronavirus outbreak. However, some services are providing online and phone services. Find mental health supports that can help during COVID-19 outbreak.