Looking after your mental health
Maintaining your mental health
It can be difficult to keep positive mental health while you are staying at home. It’s okay to feel bored, frustrated or lonely, and to be low, worried, anxious, concerned about your finances, your health and those close to you. But it is important that we all stay at home to protect ourselves and others.
While you might be used to a work routine, it’s important to create a new one while you’re at home. Think about how you can adapt and create positive new routines with goals. If you are working from home, try to get up and ready in the same way as normal, and stick to the same sleeping pattern. Sleep is very important, so try to make sure you get enough.
You can still garden, if you have your own outside space, and there are lots of websites where you can find a routine for your fitness level. There are some suggestions on the Sport England website for things you could try in your home or garden. You can go out for a walk, run, or cycle ride from your home, unless you are in isolation. Looking after your physical health will help your mental health – try to eat healthily, drink enough water and exercise. Avoid smoking or drugs and try not to drink too much alcohol.
If you are currently receiving any treatment and support for physical or mental health problems, can you continue to access these online? And keep taking any medication.
You could also try a wellbeing audio guide to manage your anxiety. Focus on the things you can control. Keep your mind active by doing puzzles, reading, writing, playing games, find something that works for you.
While watching or listening to the news might be tempting when you’re at home, limit the amount of time you spend doing this, and make sure you are using trustworthy sources. Don’t believe everything you see on social media. Use gov.uk or nhs.uk for accurate information.
Mental health wellbeing resources
Talking about any worries you have is important. If you don’t have anyone you know that you can talk to, there are charity websites and phone lines that you can contact. You can text 'Kent' to 85258 at any time to access confidential advice and help from Shout, a national mental health charity.
Mental Health Matters is a nationwide service offering a wide range of support to those with mental health needs. They operate a 24/7 helpline, call 0800 107 0160.
The Silverline operate a 24 hour helpline and friendship service for people aged 55 and over. Call 0800 470 80 90.
It is a difficult time for everyone, but especially so for those with caring responsibilities, it is important to have a contingency plan in place. Carers UK have some provided some advice on this.
Our Frontline has been launched to support staff working in social care, essential roles, emergency services and healthcare. It is a partnership between Shout, Samaritans, Mind, Hospice UK and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The service provides round the clock one-to-one support from trained volunteers via call or text.
The Local Government Association (LGA) workforce wellbeing webpages have advice and guidance for supporting and managing the wellbeing of frontline staff.
The Mental Health Foundation has advice on how to look after your mental health.
More information and guidance can be found on the KCC wellbeing website.
Remploy provides access to a work mental health support service.
Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters has launched new advice, focussed on looking after people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With many feeling worried, anxious or isolated during these challenging times, Every Mind Matters highlights that there are lots of things we can all do to look after our mental wellbeing.
The range of new resources includes a tailored COVID-19 Mind Plan, COVID-19 specific content for individuals and their loved ones, and support for specific mental wellbeing issues such as anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping.
Alongside this, Every Mind Matters encourages people to complete a personal ‘Mind Plan’ – a quick and free interactive tool offering tailored mental well-being advice. More than 1.9 million ‘Mind Plans’ have been completed since the launch in October.
The NHS' top five tips for maintaining mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus outbreak are:
- Talk about your worries;
- Keep a regular routine and set goals;
- Manage your media and information intake;
- Do things you enjoy and try something new;
- Look after your body: our physical health also has a big impact on how we feel.