We were first faced with a worldwide pandemic over a year ago, and since then many of us have felt the impact of Coronavirus. Read on to explore how Coronavirus may be affecting you and learn ways to manage this.
Most of us have never experienced a pandemic before, so Coronavirus has resulted in many of us facing big changes and increased uncertainty.
For many of us, our everyday lives have changed dramatically due to Coronavirus. We’ve been living under lockdown, faced social distancing regulations, and lost loved ones as a result of the virus.
We’ve also had to very quickly adapt the way that we communicate on a daily basis, and this may have impacted how much contact we are able to have with others.
Understandably, many of us feel sad and lonely from being unable to see family and friends in person, and some of us may have experienced bereavement, relationship breakdowns or job loss, which can lead to anxiety about the future.
While restrictions are starting to ease, there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus and how it will continue to impact us, and it’s vital that our mental wellbeing is prioritised alongside physical health.
When we experience big changes that are out of our control, it can feel overwhelming and frustrating. As a result of Coronavirus, many of us are experiencing a heightened period of uncertainty, and this could be having a negative impact on your wellbeing.
Consider the following and tick any you feel may be affecting your mental health:
We've all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we're still feeling the effects over a year on. This video from Jenny reminds us that it's OK to feel how we're feeling, and we are not alone.
Read more about what we've learned since March 2020, and find up to date information about how to protect ourselves and others.
Coronavirus is a contagious virus that spreads through contact. That can be contact with others or contaminated surfaces.
Many people who get infected with Coronavirus experience mild symptoms and recover quickly, and some people show no symptoms at all (referred to as ‘asymptomatic’).
However, other people do suffer the impact of the virus, and sadly this has lead to some experiencing long-term effects and many dying as a result of Coronavirus.
Many of those who are most vulnerable or at risk have received at least their first vaccination, and testing (both rapid lateral flow and PCR) is also now widely available. However, we can all still contract and/or pass on the virus, and we do not yet know how COVID-19 will affect us in future.
Therefore, is still crucial that we all do our part to prevent the virus from spreading to protect ourselves and those around us.
More information and advice about what to do if you are experiencing symptoms, or have come into contact with someone with Coronavirus, as well as testing and vaccinations can be found on the NHS website.
Many of us have experienced uncertainty and anxiety about Coronavirus, and there are a lot of misconceptions about aspects of treating the virus such as the COVID-19 vaccine. Watch this video to learn more about the vaccine and why it is important for helping to protect us all from the virus.
Although restrictions are starting to ease, Coronavirus is still having a significant impact on our lives. Scroll down for some helpful tips and advice for looking after your mental health during this time.
Being unable to see people physically can be difficult, and you may be struggling to keep in touch while social distancing. If you are unsure about using digital technology, try scheduling a regular time to speak on the phone with friends or family members.
You can find further information about courses on how to use online technology such as Zoom here.
Alternatively, you could be finding it hard to come up with new ideas about how to socialise after spending more time online over the last year.
Here are some ideas you could try:
If you have more time on your hands at the moment due to the pandemic, why not take up a new hobby or learn a new skill?
You could try taking up yoga, cooking new recipes, learning to knit, or even teach yourself a new language (e.g. through an online class or using a free app such as Duolingo).
If you are struggling with having too much time to yourself, or perhaps finding it hard to get motivated, doing activities that keep you busy can help to lift your mood and have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
Information and stories about Coronavirus have been dominating the news for the last year, and it’s easy to get hooked on keeping up to date. However, this can rapidly become overwhelming and lead to you feeling low or panicky.
Take regular breaks from watching or reading the news, as well as checking social media. You could try scheduling a time to check updates, then switching off for the rest of the day.
If possible, avoid checking the news just before bed; having this space to switch off will help you get a better night’s sleep.
It may be difficult to maintain a regular routine as a result of COVID-19, and this can lead to falling into bad sleep habits (e.g. staying up later or sleeping more than usual). Having a regular sleep pattern is important for your physical and mental health, and ensuring you get enough quality sleep can make a big difference to your wellbeing.
If you can, try to have regular sleep and wake times each day, and avoid using screens (e.g. phone or TV) before going to bed.
Getting fresh air and exercising (whether this is an exercise class or a short walk outdoors) can also help with improving sleep, as well as reducing caffiene and alcohol intake.
If you struggle to get to sleep, perhaps due to anxious thoughts, you can find some tips for improving sleep here. If you are concerned about remembering things in the morning, it may be helpful to write these down before going to bed.
We are all feeling the effects of Coronavirus, and many people are experiencing higher levels of anxiety than they usually would. Below are some tips for managing anxious feelings in your day-to-day life, and you may want to take a look at our Anxiety module for more advice and support.
Take a breath
When we feel anxious, sometimes it feels difficult to catch our breath and this makes it harder to feel calmer. Taking time to connect with your breath (e.g. using the ‘square breathing’ technique’) can help your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing and allows space to feel more grounded.
Focus on here and now
Life feels very uncertain at the moment, and thinking too far ahead can be overwhelming. Try to focus on the short-term, perhaps by taking things a day or a week at a time, as this will help you feel more in control of your goals.
Notice your feelings
It can be tempting to push feelings away, but acknowledging how you are feeling can help you manage them and move forward. However you are feeling, be kind to yourself and remember that it’s OK to feel the way you do.
Do what’s best for you
We all cope in different ways, and what may work for one person may not work for another. Focus on what works best for you, as this will help to clarify your own needs.
For more support and advice about facing change during COVID-19, click here.