Anxieties over your own health and that of loved ones can feel overwhelming at the moment. Social distancing can make us hyper vigilant when outside, in addition to spending most of our time cooped up at home, either alone or with family.
Lack of personal space, freedom and control can make life feel stressful, frustrating and intense. To help you stay mentally strong and boost positivity amidst so much uncertainty, we have listed some hints, tips and advice to help you through these challenging times.
Need urgent mental health support? Call NHS24 on 111 or speak to your GP. If you feel you’re in crisis and require immediate assistance call 999.
Support for mental wellbeing
We will all experience poor mental health issues from time-to-time. Recognising when we need additional support is a good way of developing an understanding of how we feel, what affects our mood, and importantly helps us to take action to keep ourselves well.
If you feel you are not coping, have noticed little things such as changes to your mood or that things are starting to get on top of you, here are a list of organisations that can help:
- Breathing Space
- Choose Life
- Falkirk District Association for Mental Health
- NHS Inform – Your mental wellbeing
- SAMH, Scotland’s national mental health charity
- Scottish Recovery Network
- See Me
What do you do if you suspect that someone may be struggling or feeling isolated
Keep in touch and stay connected with the person, even a simple daily check-in via email, WhatsApp or text can lift someone’s spirits or pick up the phone/organise a virtual catch up and really listen.
The more effort you put into communicating with others at this time, the more chance you have of helping them understand their feelings and what support they may need before they become overwhelmed.
Please also see Cruse for advice on coping with grieving in isolation and how to support someone grieving
Wellbeing tips for everyone
Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety so having access to good quality information about Coronavirus can help you feel more in control. Trusted sources include:
• NHS Inform
• UK Government - coronavirus guidance
• UK Government Foreign and Commonwealth Office – Foreign travel advice
• World Health Organization
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, consider how you feel when you have constant exposure to media coverage and graphic news stories. Although it is important to stay informed, consider taking a break from the media if you feel things are getting on top of you.
Look after yourself
Remember to eat and drink regularly and healthily, allow time for sleep, rest and respite every day and consider setting a time to get up and a time to go to bed.
Stay connected with friends and family using technology or by telephone – build in time to make that happen because it’s important to stay in touch.
Most of all, be kind to yourself. None of us have been in this situation before so it is important not to beat yourself up if things don’t go quite to plan. If you feel you are struggling don’t be afraid to ask for support from friends, family, neighbours or the organisations listed above.
Exercising, relaxing and getting enough rest is a must to maintain good mental health. Taking good care of yourself may require a little extra time and effort, but it’s worth it. Making time to unwind and enjoy life is an important part of maintaining good health.
When practiced regularly, deep relaxation, like meditation, relieves stress and anxiety and improves mood and may potentially decrease blood pressure, relieve pain and improve your immune and cardiovascular systems.
Regular relaxation, preferably on a daily basis, is essential to maintain our wellbeing. Anything you enjoy doing can count as relaxation – it doesn’t have to be lying in a darkened room but you can do that is you want to!
• Using aromatherapy oil in the bath – a long, hot soak is good for mind and body.
• Read a magazine or a book in a comfy chair with a cuppa.
• Use the one time you are allowed to exercise a day to enjoy enjoy a leisurely stroll near your home.
•Try a new form of exercise at home.
Get relaxation inspiration from Mind, the mental health charity
The goal of meditation is to focus and understand your mind, eventually reaching a higher level of awareness and inner calm. Regular meditation can help you to control your emotions, enhance your concentration, decrease stress and even become more connected to those around you. With practice, you’ll be able to achieve a sense of tranquillity and peace.
Remember, there are many ways to meditate so try a few different types to see what works best for you. Headspace – Meditation for beginners is a good place to start.
Other useful links for mindfulness
• Anxiety Control Training and Unhelpful Thinking
• Relaxation Technique Video
• Japanese Method to Relax in 5 minutes
We understand the concerns that COVID-19 raises for you and your family. If your family has a reduced income as a result you might find yourself in financial difficulty. There’s lots of support available to make your money go further and guidance on what to do if you’re struggling. You can find financial advice at Citizens Advice and Money Saving Expert.
- CVS Falkirk - Supporting, developing and representing community groups, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and volunteering
- Ready Scotland - Preparing for and dealing with emergencies
- Age UK - Advice and information for older people
- Relate - Relationship support for everyone
- Children 1st - Support for families and children throughout Scotland
- MyGov - Support and advice for domestic abuse victims
- Citizens Advice - Useful information for children, young people and child abuse victims