This page was reviewed and updated on 30 April 2020.
It is hard not to feel alarmed and overwhelmed by the constant news and updates about Coronavirus.
On the one hand, it is important that everyone knows what is happening and the precautions to take to reduce the risk of transmission and to stay well. But it understandably affects your mood and can create feelings of fear and anxiety.
There is no getting away from it, this is a serious situation which is affecting all of us. But it is important that we find a way to process this information to avoid being in a state of alarm and tension.
Especially as we may not be able to meet up with friends and family who might usually soothe us and reassure us, and care for our psychological welfare.
Below are a few ideas that might work for you to help you cope with this extraordinary situation.
- Avoid watching news channels all day long. Decide to check in at key times. Eg A breakfast news programme and an evening news programme, and then watch other types of shows to give yourself a break and focus on other topics
- Listen to music that you like that soothes you or makes you want to dance
- Catch up on dramas, films and boxsets that you have been meaning to get around to watching
- Read a book if you feel able to concentrate or listen to it as an audio book. You can download a range of podcasts and radio programmes
- Do something that makes you feel good: make a cake, do some gardening, go back to that knitting, go for a walk in a park, etc.
- Do something that needs doing to occupy yourself: clear out a cupboard or that drawer full of rubbish that barely shuts! Write a list of things you need to sort out - we all have a to-do list at the back of our minds
- Make contact with people who lift your mood. Go for a walk or call someone - not to worry together but to talk of other things.
In order to help the NHS overcome the pandemic as quickly as possible, people still need to stay at home. This means no meeting up with family or friends if they do not share your living space. However, there are online apps such as Zoom that allow you to 'meet up' and chat virtually.
- Yoga, mediation, walking or relaxation exercises can help to regulate your breathing and remove tension from your body.
- If you are worried about who would support you if you became unwell, have those conversations now and agree how you will let people know you need help, and how they will let you know if you are to be their buddy.
Planning for this can actually reduce anxiety because you have a plan even if you don't end up needing the plan.
- Be open to trying new approaches to help manage anxiety and worry. You might not yet have discovered something that really helps you mentally!
- We will all have things that we like to do that impact positively on our mental health wellbeing. These will be different for everyone. The coronavirus situation is predicted to last for many months so anything that helps you to cope or manage the worry is a good thing.
Translated COVID-19 handwash guidance posters: