Looking After Your Mental Wellbeing: Tips and Sources of Information and Advice for Lockdown
Coronavirus continues to disrupt life in ways we couldn’t have imagined before it became part of our lives last year.
It is making the basics of life much harder. It’s natural to be anxious and worried, but the ongoing stress can affect our mental health and emotional wellbeing.
It’s just as important to look after our mental health as it is our physical health.
There are simple steps we can take to do this for ourselves and for other people. Here are some practical tips about taking care of your mental health at this time.
- Stay connected – Talk to people, even if we can’t meet face to face, we can connect virtually online or over the phone.
- Set up a routine – Whatever we normally do, lockdown has thrown our routine out. Try and maintain a routine to maintain some structure and purpose to your life.
- Keep healthy – Staying healthy doesn’t just boost your body, it’s important for your mind too. Try to eat healthily and avoid comfort eating. Drink plenty of water, but keep an eye on your caffeine and alcohol intake.
- Make time for yourself – Whether it’s a quiet corner to read, a long bath or a few minutes of meditation, it’s important to relax.
- Be part of your community – Whether it’s waving to a neighbour, checking in on an older friend or helping someone with the shopping, small acts of kindness help other people and make us feel better.
If you are finding things tough and you need someone to talk to, help is available:
Samaritans: Call free on 116 123, or to speak to someone in Welsh call 0808 164 0123 7pm-11pm daily, email email@example.com or visit www.samaritans.org
For confidential 24/7 crisis text support: text “SHOUT” to 85258 or visit www.giveusashout.org
MIND: call 0300 123 3393 or visit www.mind.org.uk
For crisis support for young people (under 35), call Papyrus’s Hopeline UK is open from 9am to 10pm
weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends on 0800 068 41 41, text 07786 209697, or visit
CALM: the Campaign Against Living Miserably, is for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason. Call 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight), or access their free, anonymous web chat with trained staff through the CALM website: www.thecalmzone.net
They have also put their own mental health toolkit which includes a series of podcasts from famous faces talking about their own experiences of mental health problems.
Domestic Abuse: Live Fear Free
Helpline 0808 80 10 800 for people experiencing domestic abuse. Live Fear Free can provide help and advice via text, email, phone and live chat to:
- anyone experiencing domestic abuse
- anyone who knows someone who needs help. For example, a friend, family member or colleague or practitioners seeking professional advice
All conversations with Live Fear Free are confidential and are taken by staff that are highly experienced and fully trained.
Websites and apps
The NHS apps library links to apps that can be helpful for numerous health conditions, including a lot of mental health and wellbeing apps:
Public Health Wales has launched a campaign to help look after health and wellbeing during the pandemic:
- How Are We Doing in Wales? https://phw.nhs.wales/
- Sut rydym yn gwneud yng Nghymru https://icc.gig.cymru/
IAWN: A Hywel Dda University Health Board a website
With self- help tips, information regarding local community services and online services are also available.
My possible self – a website and app to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people living with stress, anxiety and low mood: www.good-thinking.uk/resources/ my-possible-self/
Yoga with Adriene – Free online yoga for all abilities and conditions www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
The Free Mindfulness project links to numerous free mindfulness videos and resources tailored to Covid-19 www.freemindfulness.org/covid19
Self compassion.org is a site offering free exercises and guided meditations to help you to be kind to yourself www.self-compassion.org/category/exercises/
Tiny Buddha has 45 tips for small steps you can take to look after yourself: visit https://tinybuddha.com/ and search ‘45 simple self-care practices.
Money and finances:
Money Saving Expert has guides on all aspects of how Covid can affect your finances as well as great tips on how to save money: www.moneysavingexpert.com
Mental Health and Money Advice has tailored advice around money and mental health in the pandemic: www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org. If things are a bit more serious, Step Change helps people with debt problems take back control of their finances and their lives. For free advice visit www.stepchange.org or ring 0800 138 111 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm.