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Coronavirus and looking after your mental wellbeing

The easing of restrictions may bring mixed feelings. You may be happy about being able to resume the things you enjoy like playing sports, getting back to work, seeing friends and family. But you may also be feeling worried about the lifting of restrictions.

You may move through a range of feelings and thoughts:

  • Relieved or excited
  • Stressed and unprepared
  • Anxious or afraid
  • Angry or frustrated
  • Conflicted or confused
  • Protective of your lockdown routine

These feelings are reasonable and expected. Share your concerns with others you trust, or you could try one of the helplines listed on this sheet. You may have to learn to cope with new and changing situations, so take things at your own pace, be kind to yourself and look after your mental wellbeing during this time. This will help you process and manage the feelings you are experiencing.

It is important to note that if you are really struggling with your mental health and it is disrupting your everyday life seek professional help, talk to your GP.

If you or someone you know needs urgent mental health support, you can call 111 option 2.

Mental wellbeing top tips

  1. Connecting with others and planning social occasions. Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important whether that’s in person or virtually . Before meeting up, talk about the changing situation with others and make sure everybody is on the same page about what feels comfortable.                                  
  2. Be active. Our physical health affects how we feel. It is important to eat healthily, drink enough water and exercise regularly. If you can, try to build simple physical activity into your daily routine like a home work out, a run, gardening, dancing to music, or seated exercise. Visit www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise for information and advice.
  3. Take notice and focus on the present. Engage with nature. Open the windows to get fresh air, watch the birds, tend to houseplants, listen to natural sounds apps. Notice the change in seasons. Find out more about being mindful here.
  4. Get your information from the right sources. Lots of conflicting and confusing information about Covid-19 and the easing on restrictions makes it hard to know what you can and cannot do or what information to trust. Stick to trusted sources like the coronavirus pages on GOV.UK and the NHS website.
  5. Make time to relax. Being able to see friends and family, and visit places that have been closed up until now is exciting. But it can be a lot to take in so make sure you find time to relax. For tips on sleep visit the Every Mind Matters Sleep page.
  6. Tell someone how you feel. If you feel like you are struggling, the chances are that someone you know feels exactly the same. Talking to a person you trust can be really helpful. If you are  feeling isolated and lonely, you can call emotional support lines like the NHS volunteer service who provide a ‘check in and chat’ service call 0808 196 3646 or one of the helplines listed under useful contacts section.
  7. Work and finance, You might be worried about money, have lost your job or are concerned you might become unemployed – these issues can have a big impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Visit NHS coping with financial worries pages for tips and advice on coping with money worries and job uncertainty during COVID-19.
  8. The past year has been hard on everyone, including our kids. Children and young people can feel less anxious if they are able to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment. Be there to listen, stay involved in their life, support positive routines, encourage their interests, take what they say seriously. Find tips on supporting children or young people here

Local and national services

Mind MK Crisis Café
Open 5-11pm, 7 days a week.
Tel: 01525 722225

Mind BLMK
Tel: 0300 330 0648 or hq@mind-blmk.org.uk

BLMK Keeping Well Service
For frontline workers in health or care across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keyes. Free, fast and confidential wellbeing and psychological support.
Tel: 01908 724227 or  www.keepingwellblmk.nhs.uk

Every Mind Matters
www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters
Includes information to support children and young people

Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service
Offers a range of confidential talking therapies and specialist support
Tel: 01234 880400 or elt-tr.bedfordiapt@nhs.net

Samaritans
Tel: 116 123 or www.samaritans.org    

Kooth
Online counselling for young people
www.kooth.com

Heads Up
Men's mental health campaign
www.thisisheads-up.uk

National Debt Line
Free and independent advice
Tel: 0808 808 4000 9am-8pm Monday-Friday or www.nationaldebtline.org