What can I do to safeguard my mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Mental health has become front page news recently. We know that mental health issues can affect all elements of your life and they can affect you at any age. When there is more uncertainty in life, like during the COVID outbreak, we all feel more anxious and stressed.
At the moment there is lots of government advice to help you look after your physical health and stay safe from the Coronavirus. Thankfully, some things that are good for your physical health are also good for your mental health. Below are some more in-depth ways that you can try to improve your mental health.
If you feel that you are in crisis and unable to cope, please contact the practice or NHS24.
Mental health and physical health are very closely linked, by looking after your physical health
you are looking after both. We know that one of the best things you can do for your short-term
mental health is to take some energetic exercise. This might be running, cycling uphill or
swimming quickly. It could be an online aerobics class or a high intensity home workout.
Exercise releases endorphins and these brain chemicals help you toeel good about
yourself and relaxed. For an NHS rated home workout follow this link:
Another good short term measure for your mental health is mindfulness or a contemplative
practice from your own tradition. This can take some practice to make it work for you,
but is a simple and effective way to control a range of difficult emotions.
It’s all about slowing down and focusing on the small things, letting difficult thoughts
and feelings pass by. Watch this short video from Headspace on how to get started:
There are some benefits of social media, like keeping in touch with friends and light
entertainment. The negative aspects can be bullying, feeling overwhelmed or
damaging your feelings of self-worth. This can begin to have a negative
impact on your mental health.
It’s important to keep an eye on how much you are using social media and
whether you are still enjoying the time spent using it. If you are looking for
a more constructive use of your tablet or phone, try one of the wellbeing apps
recommended by the NHS. We recommend Stress and Anxiety Companion
or for low mood , Catch-It
There is no one solution that suits everyone when it comes to mental health difficulties.
Remember that the basics like eating healthily, avoiding smoking too much and avoid
drinking alcohol will all help in their little ways.
There are lots of ways you can get more help with the problems you face:
- Speak about things to someone you trust
- There are other great online self-help resources you can use, such as MoodJuice
- "Mind" is a UK charity that offers information and support for a range of mental health issues
- Call the Medical Practice and arrange to discuss things with a staff member (01479 810258)
- If we are closed and you need help that day, you can call NHS24 on 111
- The Inverness based Mikey's Line offer an evening text support service (07779 303303)
- Use confidential support lines like Breathing Space (0800 838 587) or Samaritans (116123)