COVID-19 coronavirus disease and our mental health

Pubished 23rd March 2020

During these unprecedented times, we will all be feeling some elements of being vulnerable, concerned and confused about the risk posed by the COVID-19 on our health and way of life.

Let’s all play our part in ensuring that we keep our minds healthy and divert the attention of all this uncertainly by focusing on what we can influence in our lives. Let’s follow the guidelines and most of all don’t panic!

Remember mental health is something we all have. When we enjoy good mental health, we have a sense of purpose and direction, the energy to do the things we want to do, and the ability to deal with the challenges that happen in our lives.

When we enjoy good mental health, we can:

• Make the most of our potential

• Cope with what life throws at us

• Play a full part in our relationships, our workplace and our community

Avoid watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times once or twice during the day. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Stick to the facts!

Looking after our mental health at work and at home can be extra challenging with the anxiety and stress some of us will be feeling about COVID-19 coronavirus disease, however, if we continue to follow some simple evidence-based ways of ensuring our mental health stays positive this will help us in the long term:

1. Talk about how you may be feeling, remember it is good to talk but also to listen to one another. You can talk to your Manager, colleague or one of the Mental Health First Aiders.

2. Keep active, a simple 10-minute walk a day can boost our moods.

3. Keep in touch, relationships are key to our mental health, working in a supportive team is hugely important for our mental health at work.

4. Eat well: regular meals plus plenty of water.

5. Ask for help, none of us are superhuman.

6. Take breaks, a change in pace can help refocus the mind.

7. Above all accept who we are.

Keep safe and remember, wash your hands!!