10 steps to mental wellbeing while at home

We’ve now changed our 7 steps to wellbeing to 10 steps to link in with Every Mind Matters’s national campaign messages.

These are unprecedented times. Taking care of our own health and wellbeing can be the first thing to slide when we’re focused on taking care of patients, friends, family and loved ones.

Staying at home for a prolonged period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and that you or other household members may feel low. It can be particularly challenging if you don’t have much space or access to a garden. It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if you need it.

1- Look after your body

Stay active

Eat well 

Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking or drugs, and try not to drink too much alcohol.

2- Connect

Connect with other people, through any means of communication.  Face to face is still possible using technology: Try FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp video calls to keep connected. It may be different or odd, to begin with, but before you know it – it will become second nature.

3- Support and help others

Helping someone else can benefit you as well as them, so try to be a little more understanding of other people’s concerns, worries or behaviours at this time.

  • The NHS Volunteer campaign is a new initiative which looks to help the 1.5 million Britons with underlying medical conditions who have been asked to stay at home for the next 12 weeks. It is also designed as a support structure to reduce pressure on the NHS and its staff. Hundreds of thousands have already registered and you can do too now
  • Give blood– You can still travel to donate. Giving blood and platelets is essential to the NHS and vulnerable patients. Please keep donating.
  • Join the Essex Coronavirus Action on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, a collaboration between Essex County Council, The Essex Public Health Team, and local Facebook group owners to provide three main services (advice to help prevent coming into contact with Covid-19, content to inform people about hoaxes, myths and fake news and a service to assist vulnerable members of the community who may need help) during the Covid-19 outbreak. Register to volunteer in your local area. Registration is open for any residents or businesses who want to volunteer in their local area. By using one of the forms below, your details will be passed directly to the group or groups that are operating near to you: For Individuals or Businesses
  • Find out what food your local food bank needs and how you can donate safely. You may be able to contribute something from your shopping basket when you checkout.

4- Take notice and focus on the present

Slow down, pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, senses and the world around you. Taking notice helps us to learn about ourselves and feel connected with our world.

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting
  • Open the window: Taking in deep breaths of fresh air will fill your body and mind with fresh energy.
  • Try mindfulness: whether you’re in self-isolation, looking after someone or working from home, there’s a chance our minds will whirr away at this time with thoughts, concerns and worries.  Try stilling your thoughts through a 10-minute daily meditation using apps such as Calm or Insight Timer. You can also find meditation videos on YouTube.

5- Keep learning

Challenge your mind- this is a great time to learn a new skill. Learning boosts our self-confidence and broadens our horizons.

  • Learn a new language for free using the Duolingo website or app. Pick up that dusty musical instrument stored in the wardrobe
  • Listen to a new podcast or audiobook
  • Take up a new pastime/learn a new skill e.g knitting, painting, poetry. Find something the whole household will enjoy.
  • Join an online choir
  • Visit the ACL website– distance and online-learning will be available for some courses
  • Join the library online! If you live, work or study in Essex you can join the library service online. This gives you access to a whole library of audio books, magazines or comics from the comfort of your home

6- Look after your sleep

Good quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel, so it’s important to get enough. So keep the same routine, get up at the same time as normal. Try to maintain your regular sleeping pattern and stick to good sleep practices.

7- Talk about your worries – it’s okay not to be okay

It’s normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation.

8. Stick to the facts

Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful. When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.

  • Find a credible source you can trust – such as GOV.UK or the NHS website – and fact-check information you get from newsfeeds, social media or other people.
  • You could also use the GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. This automated chatbot covers the most common questions about coronavirus. Message the coronavirus chatbot to get started.

If you’re a parent, discuss the Coronavirus with your children:

9. Feel prepared

Think through a normal week: how will it be affected and what do you need to do to solve any problems?

10. Stay on top of difficult feelings

Concern about the coronavirus outbreak is perfectly normal. However, some people may experience intense anxiety that can affect their daily life.

Try to focus on the things you can control, such as your behaviour, who you speak to, and where and how often you get information.

Useful links

Livewell Partners