Looking after your mental and physical health while at home
If you have to stay at home due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be feeling bored, anxious or lonely. Depending on your personal circumstances, there are also other issues to consider from finances to childcare.
It’s so important to understand how you are feeling and to do some simple things which can help you feel better. This includes looking after yourselves and others and making time for your mental health and wellbeing.
The good news is that there are plenty of easy, free and meaningful things we can do to increase our wellbeing. The Five Ways to Wellbeing gives advice on what we can do every day to make ourselves feel good.
Looking after your mental health while staying at home
Take time to call a friend or family member. It’s important to stay in touch with others however you do it, and sometimes simply talking about how you feel can make a big difference. If you have a friend or neighbour who may need support or a listening ear, spare some time to talk to them.
There are some great resources for talking to children about Coronavirus, available online:
Being physically active can have a real benefit to your mental health. If you are not self-isolating, try building in a walk or other exercise during the day. If you are indoors, take regular screen breaks and stretch at least once every hour.
For loads of great ideas to keep active at home, visit the Keep Suffolk Moving website.
There's also plenty of useful advice and home work out videos on the NHS OneYou website.
Take the opportunity to learn a new skill or pick up something you have enjoyed doing before. Always wanted to read that book, or learn that language? Now is the time. With more free classes and courses available online now than ever before, click the links below to find out what you can discover:
Explore FutureLearn's online courses to continue studying, build professional skills, and connect with experts. FutureLearn have courses in a diverse range of subjects and are always adding more. Courses vary in length. Most are six to ten weeks long but we also have some shorter two and three week courses.
With more people socially and physically distancing themselves, March Network have shared some home-based, creative ways to support mental health during these unique and uncertain times.
Free Language learning, available via desktop or mobile device.
You can access many great ebooks and audio books through Suffolk Libraries’ eLibrary services.
With the constant stream of media messages about coronavirus, it is also very easy to feel overwhelmed. Take a break from watching, listening or reading news stories and use the time for the things you enjoy.
Use trustworthy sources such as:
Be sure to fact check information from the news, social media or other people.
If you are not self-isolating, go for a daily exercise walk whilst keeping social distances and notice the change of the seasons. Techniques such as mindfulness can be helpful.
Giving your time and energy to others is extremely important, never more so than now, and can pay dividends for your mental wellbeing. Whether it’s looking out for and helping a neighbour, or registering to volunteer to offer support in your community, there is plenty you can do.
Home But Not Alone
Home But Not Alone is a new Suffolk-focused community service which has been set up to support people who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
willing volunteers, charities, town and parish councils, community and religious groups can all log their details and offers of support on an app, while people who need help can phone to request support.
Watch the video below for more information:
The telephone number for those in genuine need of help is freephone 0800 876 6926 and will be staffed from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.
For more information, visit:
As part of the Home but Not Alone Campaign, Community Action Suffolk are offering to connect potential volunteers with community groups, charities and local councils offering volunteer roles. Visit the Volunteer Suffolk website to find out how you can help.
Staying on top of anxiety
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, helpless, overwhelmed, confused or angry. This is an entirely natural reaction to the current circumstances.
There are some simple things you can do to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing during times of uncertainty – and doing so will help you think clearly and make sure you are able to look after yourself and those you care about.
Watch: Dr Hilary Jones gives advice on looking after your mental health whilst in home isolation:
Get some useful tips from the Every Mind Matters website:
Other guidance for staying at home
NHS Every Mind Matters
Mental Health First Aiders England
Looking after your mental health
Mental Health Foundation
Ipswich & East CCG
Rethink Mental Illness