Many of us have faced difficult personal, financial or physical challenges during the pandemic, and it's natural that this can have an impact on our mental health.
⚠️ We're updating the information on this page in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. The advice on this page may change significantly as the situation continues to develop.
Page last updated: 30 March 2022
As we adjust to the end of restrictions, it's normal that we may each feel differently about how this affects our lives. You could be feeling uncertain about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, or worried about what may happen in the future. You might be feeling nervous about what new pressures or expectations the end of restrictions has brought, even if you are looking forward to being able to do more this year.
Whatever you are feeling is OK. There is no right or wrong way to react. Coronavirus has impacted all of our lives and it’s natural that these uncertain and challenging times are continuing to affect people's mental health and wellbeing.
It’s important to be kind to yourself and take things at your own pace. We’ve all faced challenges over the past two years and it’s OK if you still need time to readjust. If you’re finding things tough, try to talk about how you are feeling with others. You’re not alone.
At Samaritans, we’re committed to helping you if you’re struggling to cope, however we can. Our volunteers are always here to listen and won’t judge or tell you what to do. Find out more about contacting a Samaritan here.
In case it’s helpful, we have gathered some tips and resources to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.
- Pay attention to how you are feeling. Our self-help web app can help you track your mood and includes practical tips and techniques to help you look after your emotional health.
- Make time for yourself. It could be something creative, playing sports or taking a copy of the paper to a park for half an hour in the sun. Even stepping away and taking a five-minute break over a cup of tea can help you relax and recharge.
- Keep to a routine. Planning your day can help you feel grounded if you're feeling uncertain about the future. Try to prioritise eating well, getting plenty of sleep and exercising – taking a short walk outside at lunchtime can be a great place to start.
- Try a relaxation exercise. Sometimes something simple like controlled breathing can help us feel calmer. Muscle relaxation exercises can also help reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. If you can, find a quiet space and try out the exercises we’ve linked to. They’re easy to memorise and can be used while you are out and about.
- Take a break from the news and social media. If you find it hard to stay offline, prioritising other activities can help you switch it off. Try turning off your notifications or leaving your phone in another room for a few hours. If your job involves lots of screen time, taking a break away from your devices after work might help you relax.
- Spend time outdoors. Whatever way you can, taking some time to enjoy the outdoors can have a positive effect on your mood. Our nature and mental health page has lots of tips for different ways to enjoy nature both inside and outside.
- Talk about how you’re feeling. Talking can help put things into perspective and help us feel less isolated. It can be hard to reach out but talking to a trusted friend, colleague or family member is something we’d encourage you to try, however you can.
If you don’t feel like there’s anyone you can talk to, Samaritans volunteers are here for you. Call free, day or night, on 116 123 or email [email protected]. For more information see our contact a Samaritan page.
If you have lost a friend or family member
- Cruse Bereavement Care have put together some advice on coping with changing restrictions if you have been bereaved
If you're worried about someone else
- We've put together some advice on how to support someone you're worried about during the pandemic
- If you’re worried about someone because of the way they’re acting online, we have advice for supporting someone online who might be a risk of self-harm or suicide
- Our How to support someone you're worried about pages also include guidance on signs that someone may not be OK
Looking after your mental health at home
- Huffington Post has some tips on looking after your mental health during self-isolation
- Mental Health at Work has put together a toolkit for coping with the challenges of working from home
Working during coronavirus
- Mental Health Foundation have advice for going back to the work environment
- Stylist also have some tips for dealing with social anxiety if you’re heading back to the office
- Through Our Frontline we offer resources to help look after your mental health as a keyworker
If you're a key worker
Through Our Frontline, we offer round-the-clock one-to-one support, by call or text, from trained volunteers. Find out more about our keyworker support service here.
Advice for students
- YoungMinds has some advice on looking after yourself at uni during the coronavirus pandemic
- Student Minds also has some advice for looking after your mental health during the pandemic
Coronavirus symptoms and recovery
The NHS has a dedicated website with information and advice to support your recovery after coronavirus
- You can read the official NHS guidance on coronavirus here (UK)
- Public Health Agency has its information here (Northern Ireland)
- The HSE has some information on symptoms here (ROI)
- Public Health Wales has its coronavirus information here (Wales)
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