CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Staying at home just now may be difficult but in doing so you are helping protect yourself and others. You may be feeling anxious, low, worried, bored, frustrated but this situation is temporary. Here are things from Angela Gorman, our Mental Health & Wellbeing Nurse, that you could do to manage your mental health and wellbeing whilst at home.
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS
Think of ways to keep in touch with others if not able to do this in person as its important to maintain relationships. This could also make the other person feel better!
- Phone calls
- Video calls
- Social media
- Maybe connecting with old friends
THINK OF CREATIVE WAYS TO CONNECT DIGITALLY
- Group chat
- Reading a book or watching a TV programme/file then discussing afterwards
- Group quiz
- Arts and craft group
WAYS TO RELAX
The exercises marked * can be found online.
- Breathing exercises *
- Mindfulness *
- Relaxation *
- Meditation *
- Listening-in / playing music
- Arts and crafts
STIMULATE YOUR MIND
- Read books, magazines, articles
- Listen to podcasts, radio
- Watch TV, film
- Arts and crafts
- Do a jigsaw
- ‘Open Learn’ has free on-line courses you can enrol in
- There are many apps out there that can help you learn new skills including things such as a new language
SETTING A DAILY ROUTINE
Agree on a routine, write it down and put it somewhere it can be seen everyday. It might be helpful to stick to your regular routine in terms of:
- Get up and go to bed at the same time
- Get dressed – this will help you feel productive
- Do hair and make-up – good for your self-esteem
- Do things you enjoy as well as the things that have to be done
- Set yourself some goals or a ‘to do’ list
- Plan when to go out for you daily activity
- Plan when to have your meals
If you are unhappy with your usual routine, it’s your chance to make a change. You can spend time doing things you don’t normally have time for e.g. cooking, hobbies, reading. You may have to think about how you will spend long periods of time at home alone – plan activities each day, think about potential hobbies, go on-line for suggestions.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR BODY
Looking after your body has an impact upon our mental wellbeing.
- Eat healthy well balanced meals
- Drink enough water
- Take prescribed medication – remember to order this in time (if you are isolating and unable to pick up your medication, a community volunteer can do this for you)
- Ensure a healthy sleep routine – do not use a phone/table prior to bedtime and avoid caffeine prior to bedtime also
- Exercise regularly, keeping 2 metres from others
- Avoid smoking or illicit drug use
- Do not drink too much alcohol
There is a wealth of online resources for different types of exercise but remember that keeping active by doing hobbies and day to day activities also counts.
Please keep up to date with the guidance regarding COVID-19. At time of writing individuals were allowed to leave their homes to exercise once a day alone or with members of your household - see: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/, www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus and www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/.
Keeping active is important for health and wellbeing and even more so in times of self isolation for your emotional wellbeing.
- Dancing to music
- Going up and down the stairs
- Joining an on-line class
- Seated exercises
PAIN MANAGEMENT SERVICES
- Tayside Pain Service (NHS Tayside website)
- Pain Concern, Phone 0300 123 0789 (Monday: 2pm-4pm Friday: 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm)
- Pain Association
- The Pain Toolkit
- Live Well with Pain
NEWS RELATED TO CORONAVIRUS
You could set yourself times of the day to read updates or watch the news, this could include on social media.
Find a credible source you can trust such as GOV.UK, or NHS Inform.
If you are feeling particularly anxious, you could maybe switch off from this for a day or two.
TALKING ABOUT YOUR WORRIES
It is normal to feel worries, anxious, low and helpless about the current situation. It is helpful to share your concerns or how you are feeling with people/someone that you trust. If you feel that has not helped or that you would prefer to speak to someone else that is not someone that you know on a personal level then there are helplines that you could call:
- Samaritans – Phone 116 123
- Breathing Space - Phone 0800 838587
- SAMH - Phone 0141 530 1000
- NHS24 (if of a more urgent nature) – Phone 111
- Angus Suicide Prevention & Support Service - Phone 0800 135 7899
Here are further helpful links for emotional well-being support: Mental health helplines (NHS.UK website)
Or you can make an appointment with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Nurse based in the surgery.
- Apps and on-line tools to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing - NHS Apps Library
- Breathing exercises - Breathing exercises for stress (NHS.UK website)
- Jigsaws - Jigsaw Planet
- Puzzles/games - Games and puzzles from mind.org.uk
- Arts/Creative ideas - Luminate@Home
- Drawing - Free Drawing School
- Some on-line events - ANGUSalive at Home
- The NHS website also has a range of instructor led videos including aerobic exercise, strength, yoga and pilates - Fitness Studio exercise videos
- The Physiotherapy Pain Association has created a list of links, including video links to gentle exercise including chair yoga, tai chi, strength and balance - Keeping Active
- NHS Lothian Pain Physiotherapy services have excellent videos for guided exercises - Pain Management Programme
Academy Medical Centre has a Patient Support Advisor, Ashley McGregor, who can help you to identify non-medical issues and concerns that you have and support you to access services and activities that you may benefit from.