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6 ways to protect your mental health during a pandemic

  • Publish Date: Posted over 4 years ago
  • Author:by Ruth Foster

​​Coronavirus has plunged the world into uncertainty and the constant news about the pandemic can feel relentless. All of this is taking its toll on people's mental health, particularly those already living with conditions like anxiety and OCD.

So how can we protect our mental health?

Limit the news and be careful what you read

Limit the amount of time you spend reading or watching things which aren't making you feel good. Perhaps decide on a specific time to checking in with the news.

There is a lot of misinformation swirling around - stay informed by sticking to trusted sources of information such as government and national health system websites.

Have breaks from social media and mute things which are triggering

It's natural to feel compelled to stay informed and do research, but often, social media can be a trigger for health anxiety. Be careful about what accounts you're following and hashtags you're clicking on.

Try muting key words, or hide Facebook posts if they feel overwhelming.

Stay connected with people

Agree to regular check-in times and stay connected to the people around you. Make use of technology to have virtual lunch breaks with friends, or do video chats where possible. Hearing a friendly voice, and seeing a familiar face can do wonders for your mental health.

When you're self-isolating, strike a balance between having a routine, and making sure each day has some variety.

Avoid burnout

With weeks and months of the coronavirus pandemic ahead, it is important to have downtime. MIND recommends continuing to access nature and sunlight wherever possible.

Do exercise, eat well and stay hydrated. Establish boundaries in your work, and make sure you're exploring ways to work from home as effectively as possible; from your desk set up to planning your day.

Avoid the need to constantly focus on productivity

Don't feel pressured into thinking you have to use this 'down time' as an opportunity to overhaul your life and get around to all the things you've been putting off. It's OK to feel overwhelmed by just getting from one day to the next.

You don't have to read hundreds of books, repaint your house, learn a language and loose weight. Focus on what gets you through each day with a positive mindset, and the opportunity to feel fulfilled.

Take the time to talk

It's important to recognise that you won't be alone in your feelings and it's normal to have heightened anxiety or stress in circumstances such as this.

Lean on friends and family, and utilise resources you have at work. You can also turn to coworkers who no doubt can relate to the way you are feeling.