Maintaining Good Mental Health During the Pandemic
As many people are aware, there are huge differences between feeling a bit low and coping with serious emotional health problems over a long period.
With the spread of new virus variants, a race to deploy innovative vaccines and no clear indication of when the crisis will end, it is making it more difficult than before to maintain good mental health.
The lengthening Covid-19 crisis is having an increasingly negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of staff members and self-employed workers, as well as employers and business leaders themselves.
Once regarded as a taboo subject, a greater awareness and understanding of the negative impacts of mental health in recent years is being accentuated by the severity and social restrictions created by Covid-19.
Mental Wellbeing Whilst Staying at Home
The NHS is by definition a leading source of mental health advice and emphasises that taking care of the mind as well as the body is important.
It lists simple sensible steps to defuse practical fears and stressful situations caused by the coronavirus that ferment mental health problems.
* Check Employment and Benefits Rights Worrying about work and money can adversely affect mental health. Talking to employers, understanding sick pay and benefit rights, or alternatively finding out about Government support for small businesses and self-employment can make a big difference.
* Plan Practical Things Working out how to secure household supplies, and continuing treatment or support for existing physical or mental health problems, plus medicines and repeat prescriptions, takes away basic pressures. You can also become part of other people’s solution networks. Local authorities and other organisations can help, too.
* Stay Connected With Others Maintaining healthy relationships with trusted people is important for mental wellbeing whether by phone, messaging, video calls or social media.
*Talk Out Your Worries Sharing concerns with others can help both parties. As an alternative, there are numerous dedicated helplines to call.
* Look After Your Body Physical health affects how we feel and it can be easy to fall into unhealthy behaviour patterns that make things worse. Healthy well-balanced meals, drinking enough water and regular exercise are important — including indoor exercising and free online classes.
* Stay on Top of Difficult Feelings Over-reacting can make things worse. Focus on the things that can be controlled: what you can do, how you act, who you speak to, and using reliable information sources.
* Avoid News Marathons Limiting time spent watching, reading or listening to pandemic news, including on social media, to a few specific times each day can also reduce tension.
* Continue Enjoyable Things Being worried can block out good things. Focus instead on favourite hobbies or start new ones. Try reading, safe games, cooking, baking, drawing and painting to turn things round. Many free tutorials and courses are also available online. And there are always Zoom quizzes!
* Take Time to Relax Time out can help with difficult emotions and tensions while also improving wellbeing. Guidance for relaxation techniques is available online.
* Sleep Well Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel; establishing and maintaining regular sleeping patterns with good sleep practices is important.
For further details on the above please see www.nhs.uk
The Mental Health Foundation is part of the UK’s national mental health response to Covid-19 and can also offer support, guidance and advice https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/*