Looking after our Mental Health during Covid-19 outbreak

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Consultant Sport Psychiatrist, Dr Tim Rogers has put together some advice that might help with our #mentalhealth during the #coronavirus #COVID2019 period.

Social distancing prevents infections, but social isolation can significantly increase the risk of other health problems, both physical and mental. What can we do?

Being connected to others in a supportive community does more than just help us feel better, it buffers the biological effects of stress hormones/pressure. It’s still possible 2 experience the same sense of community and the same mental health benefit digitally @BigWhiteWall1

Take a moment to pause, step back and look after how you’re feeling during such an unprecedented time.  Here are some suggestions:

24hr news cycles mean we miss nothing.  The trouble is, worry and anxiety become unhealthy when “what if” thoughts multiply and fill our thinking space with scary things all day.  This is tiring. Set aside 10m each day to get up to date, then switch/log off until tomorrow’s 10m.

A little worry is helpful if it nudges us to plan our way through difficult moments.  The news also contains many examples of clever problem solving and, often, trusted sources of advice.  Once you’ve done all you can, remind yourself that this is enough.

Give yourself permission to focus on something else: a to-do list for today.  Any more worry about what might or might not happen in the future cannot be helpful for you or for others.

There are lots of ways to help you get back into the moment right now, whether free mindfulness resources online, or anything else that pulls your focus into present.  Is there something you can take the opportunity to get done?

Think about what you post online.  Share stories of coping, share care and support and share the things that have helped you.

10000 steps might not be possible for now but movement is still medicine.  Put the FitBit down and set yourself a goal to find the best ways of being active for your own situation.  Any activity-however little-helps your mental health. Try to find something fun for each day.

Self-isolation need not mean social isolation.  It’s so easy to forget to reach out and connect.  One of the benefits of our era of tech is how easily we can now do this from our phones, tablets and computers.  Giving support can be just as beneficial as receiving it.

It’s OK not to be OK in how you’re feeling, whether or not it has anything to do with corona. Mental health services @Cognacity or elsewhere, nationwide, are working safely in different ways but we are still here to support you if you need it: reach out in the normal way.

Dr Tim Rogers is listed on the FMPA Register. Anyone looking to get in touch with Tim can contact him via his profile page