Published Aug 29, 2020
During these times of the COVID-19 pandemic meaning social distancing, missing loved ones and loneliness, many of us are understandably suffering with poor mental health. Fear and worry about catching the virus, or loved ones catching the virus, finances and job security only make mental health problems worse.
But there are things we can do to help to manage how we’re feeling, at the same time remembering that it’s ok to feel anxious, stressed or depressed during such uncertain times. It’s also important to remember that if you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, you should seek medical help or use the services of the Samaritans or Mind to help you through your episode.
Here’s our tips on coping with your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic…
Be kind to yourself – it’s ok to feel the way you’re feeling. The world is a fearful place at the moment, with lots of unknowns. Accepting that you’re allowed to have negative feelings, at any time, is the first step to managing them.
Rid yourself of negativity – this could be as simple as switching off the news or deciding not to buy a daily newspaper. Doing so will stop the barrage of depressing figures and statistics. Instead, decide to watch the news for a daily catch up, once a day, to get the information you need and that’s it. Avoiding social media, or unfollowing certain people who add to your negative thoughts or anxiety can also help. If a real life friend wants to be in touch via text, phone or video call, but they don’t help to lift you up and instead are obsessed with spreading false information, scaremongering and reading out the daily numbers of infections, then politely decline and explain that you’re avoiding certain conversations at the moment, for your own mental health.
Do a good deed – helping others in a crisis can be incredibly empowering for our own mental health. Helping an elderly or vulnerable neighbour with their shopping, checking in with a friend via video call or writing them a letter can be really rewarding. As can buying a voucher from a local business to use at a later date or donating to a local food bank or charity appeal.
Ask for help – it’s often not simply a case of reframing negative thoughts or trying to find the positives in a situation – it can be more difficult than that. Remembering that your thoughts are valid and calling a close friend or loved one to explain how you’re feeling can help. They may be feeling the same as you, or suffering but in a different way. Together, you could help support each other from afar.
Be thankful – each day, right before bed, think of three things that happened that day that were positive. It can be a tiny thing, such as finding a bar of chocolate in the cupboard you’d forgotten you had, meaningful such as an unexpected call from a friend, or huge, such as a loved one being given the all clear on a health issue.
Never feel alone – so many people are experiencing their own struggle right now, and all struggles are valid. Let’s all hope the end is in sight, so that we can begin to live a fulfilling life in a post-Covid-19 world. Until then, do whatever you need to do to help support your mental health.
Written by Hannah De Gruchy
Health, Wellness & Environmental Writer | Human Biology BSc (Hons)
I have an extensive knowledge of diet, health and wellbeing topics and consistently produce high quality, fully researched content for blogs, features and articles.
I’ve always loved to write, and after spending the first ten years of my career laboratory based, embarked on a career change in 2009 by joining an innovative and first to market online doctor. I was responsible for managing all online and printed content including articles, product descriptions and marketing materials, and now have extensive knowledge of what it takes to write engaging, imaginative pieces.
In 2013 I had a major role in setting up https://www.emmbie.com and have had overall responsibility for all content (including the blog and product descriptions), social media and printed materials. Emmbie is an online health, diet, fitness and lifestyle company selling natural, organic, vegan health food supplements.
I also have experience in proofreading and editing content written by doctors, making sure it reads well as a non-doctor and am fully versed in being consistent with editorial guidelines.
I’m motivated and well organised for freelance working, my desk shares a space with a running machine, which often comes in handy when I’m told by my watch I’ve been sitting down too long or need some inspiration away from the screen!
I try to live a simple life, always conscious of my impact on the environment and have recently taken a keen interest in Buddhism. I choose natural beauty and household products and eat local, organic produce when I can. Staying true to both my way of life and my scientific background, I have a passion for writing on these subjects that is evident in my work.