Dr Emma Hepburn has put together a handy ebook with tips and advice on how to stay calm in a global pandemic.
Emma states that national data indicates that the global pandemic is resulting in increased anxiety and reduced wellbeing for many of us. We all move up and down the mental health curve in our everyday lives, but research suggests COVID-19 may be pushing more of us down the curve.
We have picked out five of Emma’s ideas to help you to continue to look after your mental health during the pandemic:
1. Understand this is not you, or a failure in you. How you are feeling is a product of months of living with high stress, uncertainty and anxiety, along with the inability to use some of our normal coping strategies.
2. Plan daily pockets of joy and relaxation. Creating a positive effect is imperative right now. Try to plan things to look forward to across the next week and month, so that your brain has something positive to anticipate.
3. If your normal coping strategies seem too much effort, try to think of a smaller way that you could apply these so they still have some effect. Can’t face zooming? Can you text instead? Can’t face working out? Go outside for a walk for a few minutes instead.
4. Be extra gentle on yourself. When we are tired we have less cognitive resources. More things may go wrong, we can do less and we may not function how we expect. This is lighter fuel for your inner critic. This is a signal to hold on to self-compassion and not let go, but you may not have the resources to do this. Find ways to remind yourself of your compassionate voice that requires less effort, such as prompts or saved kind messages.
5. Remember that none of us can always function alone. We all need extra input at times. Seeking and accepting help is not a failure, it’s a basic human need and a form of active coping to help keep us afloat.
Click here to view the How to stay calm in a global pandemic ebook.
If you are in need of further support, there are a number of local and national organisations, as well as a number of online resources and self-help apps that can help.
Directory of local and national support organisations which offer support in a variety of areas
List of online resources and self-help apps