Mental Health

Looking after your own and others' mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

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The covid-19 outbreak is unsettling for us all and has lead to increased stress, anxiety and worry for many. Here are some ways to support your mental health and find help if you need it.

If you need urgent support for your mental health, call the Cheshire NHS 24/7 Mental health Crisis Line on 0300 303 3972 or the Samaritans on 116 123.

Mental health resources

If you’re feeling anxious

Many people may feel more stressed and anxious than usual. If you struggle with anxiety, or have a loved one that does, it will likely be helpful to take positive steps to help you to manage it. These tips from the NHS are helpful and other steps could include:

Manage your access to information

  • Avoid speculation.
  • Access only information that you know to be reliable and trustworthy, for example, gov.uk, BBC news and the NHS.
  • Manage your time (and who you follow and see) on social media and your access to the news.

Stay connected

  • While it can be tempting to withdraw, try to reach out to family and friends and talk about how you are feeling with people you trust.
  • Keep in touch via text, telephone, video calls, social media, email or even post.

Learn and use calming tools

  • If you have trusted exercises or tools, such as calming breathing techniques, use these regularly. If you have not tried them, the following might help:
    • You might find these audio guides from the NHS helpful
    • If you have a smartphone or tablet, install an app such as Headspace or Chill Panda and make time to use it every day.
    • There are many mindfulness meditations to try on YouTube, including from Calm
    • This website has further ideas: mind.org.uk

If you’re feeling lonely

Some people may feel especially lonely if they have to self-isolate. These ideas may be helpful:

Things to try:

  • Ask family members and friends to arrange a regular time to call you, so you know when it is happening and have something to look forward to. Make a list of things you’d like to talk about.
  • If you are confident with using technology, try Skype or WhatsApp to keep in touch (you could ask someone to help you to install the apps over the phone)
  • If you are an older person you can call The Silver Line, a charity that offers information, friendship and advice to older people https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/ or age UK.
  • You can also call our helpline (link) for some practical support.
  • Join one of our online group support sessions (more info coming soon!).

Looking after your mental wellbeing

We have all to create a new daily routine. It can help your wellbeing, and passing the time, to spend your time in ways you enjoy while you're at home. Ideas include:

  • Read or listen to books
  • Get creative - e.g. paint, sew, play an instrument or knit
  • Gardening (or starting seeds indoors on a sunny windowsill if you don't have access to outside space)
  • Crafting and/or sewing
  • Catching up on that series you have been meaning to watch
  • Listen to plays or find new programmes on the radio
  • Learn a new language (Duolingo is a free app and website)
  • Trying a new calming exercise like Yoga or Tai Chi (there are lots of videos on YouTube)
  • At home exercising - there are loads of YouTube videos and apps, or just dance to your favourite music
  • Decorating and DIY
  • Dog training (if you have a dog!)
  • Doing an online course
  • There are many ideas on the Chatter Pack website as well.

Help others if you can

Helping others is a great way to feel part of the Knutsford community and can make a real difference to your own and others’ wellbeing.

You can help out your own neighbours and/or volunteer with us by helping people with shopping, picking up prescriptions, driving, befriending, sewing and many other ways! Email volunteer@weareknutsford.org to find out more.

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