The constant news alerts, social media posts and misinformed comments about the novel coronavirus can be overwhelming, and having to work from home or self-isolate can intensify matters. While it is important to protect your physical health from the virus, it is also vital to maintain good mental health during these stressful times.
The World Health Organisation has released full guidelines on how you can look after your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the following recommendations for people in isolation.
1. Stay connected
Even in situations of isolation, try as much as possible to keep your personal daily routine. If health authorities have recommended limiting your physical social contact to contain the outbreak, you can stay connected via email, social media, video conference and telephone.
2. Pay attention to your needs
During times of stress, pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly, keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy food. Keep things in perspective.
3. Avoid rumours
A near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed. Seek information updates and practical guidance at specific times during the day from health professionals and the WHO website and avoid listening to or following rumours that make you feel uncomfortable.
If you are struggling during this time, there are many places you can seek support. The Samaritans have a free to call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you want to talk to someone in confidence. You can call them on 116 123.
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