In these uncertain times it’s important for all of us to try to maintain our mental health as well as our physical health. Here are a few things that might help.
Maintain a regular routine
Try to maintain familiar routines as much as possible including sleep and wake times. You may also need to create some new routines. Think about how you’ll spend your time at home, for example, plan different activities to do on different days or consider habits you want to start. Set a daily to do list to encourage structure and stay present.
Staying connected and having a social outlet is hugely important for your mental wellness. Try to stay connected by phone, text, Whatsapp and video calls. Think about your family, friends and colleagues and try to support them where possible - we are all going through an unusual time but can help each other.
You can keep up to date surrounding COVID19 via the Scottish Government website.
There is a huge amount of information available which may not be as accurate as official guidance. Be careful about what other sources of information you use.
Try and set a daily time limit on following the news so it doesn't consume your day. If you can, make this at the same time every day e.g 10 minutes at 9am.
- Stay as active as you can and aim for 10,000 steps per day if possible.
- You can exercise outside more than once a day. This can include walking, jogging, running or cycling. While exercising you should observe distancing rules (stay more than 2 metres from others) and workout alone or with only your household group. High risk exercise (that may result in injury and require medical care or emergency services support) should be avoided.
- Exercise should be undertaken locally. Please do not travel in your car to take exercise; please make use of the paths, open spaces and quiet roads in your own local area.
- If you are self isolating and do not have symptoms set a daily activity target for yourself.
- Share exercise plans and goals with others. Be creative with indoor exercise.
- Choose activities you enjoy and find relaxing, yoga and pilates are good forms of exercise for physical and psychological health.
- The NHS has created a 10 minute workout that can be performed at home.
- We have also been sharing different ways to stay active on Twitter.
- If you have symptoms consistent with Coronavirus (new persistent cough and/or fever) then you should do no exercise for 10 days minimum.
Eat well and boost immunity
- Eat a well balanced diet that includes all major food groups
- We'll be posting recipes from the nutrition team on our social media that you can use for inspiration!
- Boost your natural intake of vitamins and minerals by eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables
- Think about having a probiotic drink daily (Yakult or Actimel)
- Keep well hydrated, keep your water bottle clean and don't share with others
- Keep your hands clean by washing them regularly with soap and water then apply hand sanitiser
- Make sure you get enough good quality sleep.
A near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed. Staying connected with others and seeking updates from credible sources will help with this.
Try to remember public health agencies and experts in all countries are working on the outbreak to ensure availability of the best care to those affected.
If you feel like your mental wellness is worsening If you feel like you are struggling to stay connected or that you feel more low or anxious you are not alone. Self help resources that may be helpful:
- SAMH has useful information on maintaining mental wellness
- Young Scot this a difficult time for young people too
If these measure do not help and you feel that your mental health is worsening or is a concern to you or others:
- Tell someone how you are feeling
- Contact your GP practice (0800 - 1800 week days)
- Out of hours – NHS 24 on 111 (1800 - 0800 weeksdays and 24 hours at weekends)
- Samaritans 116 123 (open 24/7)
- Breathing Space 0800 33 35 37 (open Mon to Thurs 1800 to 0200, 24 hours over the weekend. Online chat also available)