Taking care of yourself
All of us are worried about coronavirus and how it will affect us and those we love. Staying at home is essential to limit the spread of coronavirus, but it is also leaving millions of us without many of the things we value for our mental wellbeing. We know that people are more likely to experience mental health problems during national emergencies, and those of us who already have mental health problems can be the most affected. As a result, it is vitally important to take care of yourself during this time. Active Partnerships are delighted to support Mind who have provided a few ways on how to do this below.
Mind’s Coronavirus and your mental health toolkit
mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus toolkit provides reliable information and tips to help you cope during this strange and challenging time. The toolkit includes information and support such as:
Five Ways to Wellbeing
The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based mental health messages aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of the whole population. They include:
· CONNECT – send letters/cards/postcards, listen to chatty radio stations and/or podcasts, join virtual groups (e.g. Sofa Singers & Virtual Choir). But it is also important to disconnect when things become overwhelming or from potential negative influences as this can lead to stress and anxiety (e.g. leave your phone at home if you go for a walk, limit the amount of news and social media you access).
· BE ACTIVE – being active can reduce feelings of stress and tension, break up racing thoughts and even reduce the risk of depression by up to 30%. Take a look at Mind’s Get Active, Feel Good webpage for inspiration including A-Z Activity Guide and Get Active Bingo.
· GIVE – say thank you and really mean it, random acts of kindness, volunteer for a charity, give a compliment or praise to a friend, family member, colleague or neighbour, support your local community, support a neighbour, take part or even set up a fundraising challenge.
Talk to someone
Maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Here are some ideas to help:
- Make plans to chat with people or groups you’d normally see in person. This includes family, friends and colleagues.
- If you are feeling anxious about coronavirus or staying at home more than usual, you may find it helpful to talk about these worries with someone you trust, especially if they are in a similar situation.
- You could join a peer support community. Mind runs an online peer support community called Elefriends, where you can share your experiences and hear from others.
There are many services you can access when you are going through a difficult time. Below are a selection of the many helplines and support available to you:
· Mind Infoline – call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463. Available 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays)
· Shout – text 85258. Available 24 hours a day, every day
· Does your employer have an Employee Assistant Programme (EAP)? EAPs support employees’ health and wellbeing and can include counselling services. Staff who have been furloughed can continue to access their employer’s EAP.
The two campaigns below highlight the importance of supporting and talking to colleagues, friends and family.
- #HaveYourMatesBack – each week Mind are promoting one of the 5 ways to wellbeing and how you can support your friends and family.
- Samaritans’ Small Talk Saves Lives– this video highlights the importance of talking to people (especially to break up suicidal thoughts).
Taking care of your employees
It’s more important than ever to look after your employees and their mental health and wellbeing. There are lots of messages and advice being promoted which can be overwhelming and confusing. As a result, we’ve narrowed this down to two key sources of information and guidance which can support you and your employee’s mental health and wellbeing.
- Mind’s Coronavirus: supporting yourself and your team guidance
- Mental Health at Work’s Coronavirus and isolation: supporting yourself and your colleagues toolkit
For more information on any of the above please contact firstname.lastname@example.org