During this time it’s important to look after others but it’s also important to look after yourself. As we face new changes and challenges everyday it can feel overwhelming and can lead you to feeling anxious.

To help you feel more balanced here is some advice and guidance on how you can look after your mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak, including some tips on what to do when staying at home for an extended period.

Get the facts – avoid fake news and speculation by only looking up information from reputable sources such as our website and gov.uk

Keep in touch – At times of stress, we work better together. With social isolation encouraged during this time it can be tricky so keep in touch with your friends and family remotely, on social platforms, by phone or using skype. Or you can look at support if you are an older person feeling anxious at Age UK or for general help contact a helpline for emotional support

Involve children and family – helping others understand the facts by talking about them can help dispel unnecessary worry and fear. It can be helpful to keep informed and educate yourself but try to avoid watching or listening to continual media updates on the virus throughout the day. Constant exposure to repeated information can cause distress.

Acknowledge your feelings, but try not to dwell – To feel vulnerable and overwhelmed as you read news about the outbreak is completely normal.  It is important to acknowledge these feelings but try not to dwell on them. It might help to remind family, friends and each other to take care of our physical and mental health. Remind yourself and try to reassure people you know who may be worried. For general information and ways to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak check out coronavirus and your wellbeing 

If you already suffer from ill mental health things can feel worse for you than it may for others.  Sheffield services have some key guidance messages of support for all people feeling overwhelmed and especially for those with existing anxiety issues at this time at Sheffield Mental Health Services Flourish

Observing social distancing and self-isolation can be frustrating and quite lonely for some people which might make you feel down. For more information, hints and tips on looking after your wellbeing while staying at home for a prolonged time look  Mentalhhealth.org for more information There are also sources of support and information that can help (NHS website)

Get active for a healthy mind and body – It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body at this time and to get support if and when you need it. Think about things you can do during your time away from a work environment. People who do well with their time spent at home have often improved their mental wellbeing by keeping busy with things they enjoy doing such as reading, crosswords, baking, watching films or learning something new online. If you are able, why not try to take part in light exercise in your home or garden.

For additional support to your mental and physical safety, there are various online support options that can be accessed to get help if you are at risk of harm of domestic abuse an online chat service is available 4-6pm at Independent Domestic Abuse Services www.idas.org.uk and at National Women’s Aid www.womensaid.org.uk and locally you can call Sheffield Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 808 2241

For additional support to coping with feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness you may wish to look at the information available on coping with suicidal thoughts

If you have experienced bereavement due to suicide there are local services available to help you and for someone to talk to about this issue specifically Listening Ear

Above all keep calm and look after yourselves and each other. You are not alone, we are all in this together and there is help available online and someone to talk to at the end of the phone should you need it.