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Lifestyle

Your Mental Health During Coronavirus

By CGordon 23 Mar 2020

The outbreak of the coronavirus can affect our mental wellbeing by causing stress and anxiety. It may also exacerbate any existing mental health conditions too. If you're finding it difficult to cope, have a read of our self help tips, useful resources and ways to access help if you need it.

Looking after your mental health

Here are some things you can do to look after your mental health while at home social distancing or isolating.

  • Stay active - you could take an online class with NHS Fitness Studio, try Youtube Yoga, or go for a walk or run (remember to maintain social distancing).
  • Eat a balanced diet - what we eat can affect our mental health, so try to maintain a good balance of foods. The NHS Eat Well website has lots of recipes you can try, or why not finally recreate some of those Tasty videos you've seen online? 
  • Stick to a routine - we have a whole guide to maintaining a routine during coronavirus here.
  • Try to manage stress - there are lots of great self help resources for managing stress from The Mental Health FoundationMind, and the university's Counselling and Psychological Services.
  • Tackle loneliness - we have an article on battling loneliness during social distancing and self isolation here.

There are lots of great resources for information on how to look after your mental health during coronavirus:

Managing existing mental health conditions

If you have an existing mental health condition you might find your symptoms become more difficult to manage. If you receive support for a condition already, you may find it helpful to arrange a telephone appointment with your mental health team.

Some charities have made guides to help with particular conditions:

Helping friends and family with their mental health 

Whether you are a carer or simply have friends or relatives with mental health conditions, you might be wondering how to best support them during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Get in touch with your friends who may be struggling. Some people with mental health conditions feel unable to reach out (for fear of being annoying or a burden, for example) so it can be really helpful for you to make the first move. Offer to chat about how the outbreak is affecting them, but remember to only discuss reliable sources (see below).

Student Minds have a great guide on how to support a friend.

Rethink Mental Illness have made a guide specifically for friends, family or carers of those with mental health conditions. Carers UK also have guidance if you are an official carer.

Remember to take care of your mental health first and foremost.

Stick to reliable sources on coronavirus

Speculation and misinformation may cause you to worry or become anxious or stressed. Stick to reliable up-to-date sources and try to distance yourself from unofficial information, especially on social media.

You can find legitimate information and advice on coronavirus:

If you're finding official sources of information difficult to understand, Young Scot have great easy to digest information.

Getting help for your mental health

Immediate help - If you are afraid that you, or someone you know, may be a danger to themselves or others then please seek help immediately by calling 999.

If you do not require emergency care you can get help from your GP or NHS24 on 111.  

The Samaritans can be contacted 24 hours a day on 116 123 or at jo@samaritans.org. Breathing Space also operates a helpline from 6pm - 2am weekdays and throughout the weekend.  They can be contact on 0800 83 85 87.  

As a University of Glasgow Student you also have free access to Big White Wall, a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings and learn how to improve and self-manage your mental health. It's anonymous, accessible 24/7 and provides online peer support and professional support by trained counsellors.

If you live in University of Glasgow accommodation, you can also contact your Living Support Team out of hours who can provide a listening ear and assist you in accessing help.