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Tips, advice and guidance on where you can get support for your mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, courtesy of youngminds.org.uk

Pandemic X Mental Health

If you’re worried about the impact of coronavirus on your mental health, you are not alone.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a new and uncertain time for all of us, so it is only natural that it will affect our mental health in different ways. However you are feeling right now is valid. With the right help and support, we can get through this.

Here is our advice on things you can do to keep mentally healthy during this time.

“If you find yourself feeling down during self-isolation it can be very easy to slip into the mindset that you are along, but this isn’t the case.”

Laura, 21

I’m feeling anxious all the time

  • Anxiety is really high for lots of people right now, even people who don’t usually struggle with anxiety. Read our blog: What to do if you’re anxious about coronavirus.
  • Check out our general advice on dealing with anxiety.
  • If you’re struggling with thoughts and actions that you cannot control (obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviours) take a look at our OCD advice.
  • We also have a blog on coping with OCD during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • You may find it helpful to practise some grounding techniques when you’re feeling anxious or stressed.
  • Our blogger Victoria, 21, has also shared some practical positive psychology techniques you can use.

“A lot of people are finding things tricky at the moment, and allowing myself to recognise that these are difficult times for everyone and that it’s okay to struggle has really helped my anxiety surrounding this situation.”

MADELEINE, 19

My mood is low because of all the bad news

  • Limit the time you spend checking the news and try to follow social media accounts that keep you positive and make you smile. Accounts like @the_happy_broadcast on Instagram only post good news stories.  
  • We have loads of tips on cleaning up your social media feed for a more positive time online – take a look at #OwnYourFeed.
  • Follow the YoungMinds Instagram account! @youngmindsuk 

I am anxious about all the changes

  • It’s totally normal to feel worried about the rules and regulations changing. But if you find you’re worrying so much it’s hard to do other things, speak to a friend or trusted adult about how you’re feeling.
  • Remember that it’s OK to take things at your own pace.

Things you can do during quarantine or self-isolation

If you are having to self-isolate, here are some links to things that can keep you connected, busy or entertained.

Learn a language
If you want to use this time to learn a language or brush up on your language skills, there are lots of resources available online. We like Duolingo and Drops, which both help you get to grips with the basics of a number of languages with fun games, and can both be downloaded as smartphone apps.

Play games over video call
Houseparty is a great app you can use to video call friends, either individually or in groups. You can also play fun games together through the app!

Learn something new
If you fancy learning something new, The Open University has made a number of courses available – you can learn about anything from history, to psychology to science…all for free!

Try some indoor exercise
If you want to get a bit of exercise from the comfort of your home, Joe Wicks, a fitness trainer, is uploading home workouts every day, which are all available on YouTube.

Practise mindfulness and meditation 
You could also use the time to practise mindfulness. Apps like Calm and Headspace offer loads of guided meditations.

Would you like to help others through these tough times?

Training for Life offer mental health training courses for a range of individuals and groups (including for youth MHFA and MHFA for professionals). We won’t teach you to be a therapist, but we will teach you to listen, reassure and respond.

We also provide training courses for personal development purposes, aiding individuals with public speaking, confidence building and more.