The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the way many of us live our lives, and it's normal that this will affect people's mental health. We've gathered some tips and resources that might be helpful.
⚠️ 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: 8 January 2021
You may be feeling more worried or unsettled by what's going on in the world. It might seem like a lot is happening outside of our control, and this can feel overwhelming. As we settle into winter, we know that we’re going to be spending our time a little differently this season. It’s natural that these changes can affect our mental health and wellbeing. At Samaritans, we’re committed to helping you if you’re struggling to cope, however we can.
Samaritans is a critical service, needed now more than ever. Our volunteers are working hard to minimise disruption to our services and support the people who need us. While it may take us longer to answer the phone or respond to emails, we're still here, 24 hours a day.
The latest government guidance and lockdown measures mean that we won't have the social contact that some of us are used to. It’s normal that the uncertainty and changes to our day-to-day lives might affect our mood. During this time, it will be important to look after our mental health. If you’re finding things tough, share how you are feeling with others, however you can.
In case it’s helpful, we have gathered some tips and resources to help you look after your wellbeing at this time.
Tips for taking care of your mental health
- Pay attention to what you're 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.
- Connect with people you love – Although we may be physically isolated from one another, it’s more important than ever for us to feel socially connected, so try and reach out to people to talk, and try to be there to listen to others.
- Talk about your feelings – Talking about how you’re feeling can help put things into perspective and may help you feel more positive about the future. If you don’t feel like there’s anyone you can talk to, you are never alone. Samaritans volunteers are here for you.
- 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 – wrapping up warm for a short walk outside at lunchtime can be a great place to start.
- Make time for something you enjoy – You could try learning a new skill, doing something creative or revisiting your favourite books and movies. If you’re active online, making time for other activities can help you take a break from the news cycle or social media.
- Try a relaxation exercise – Sometimes something simple like controlled breathing can help us feel calmer. Follow along with the video below or try the muscle relaxation exercise on our practical things you can do to help yourself cope page.
If you're worried about your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
Looking after your mental health
- Clear Your Head has some tips and ideas to help you look after yourself and get through these uncertain times
- Mental Health Foundation has some top tips on how to manage your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
- Huffington Post has some advice for looking after your mental health during self-isolation
- Age UK, the charity for older people, has some advice on looking after your wellbeing while spending more time at home
- Huffington Post has some tips for maintaining a work-life balance if you’re working from home
- Mental Health at Work has put together a toolkit for coping with the challenges of working from home
- Stylist has some advice for taking care of your mental health while you’re looking for work
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
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
- Our How to support someone you're worried about pages also include guidance on signs that someone may not be OK
If you have lost a friend or family member
Cruse Bereavement Care have put together some advice on coping with grief in isolation
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, plus resources, tips and ideas to look after your mental health. Find out more about our key worker support service here.
- 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)
- Coronavirus information from Health Protection Scotland (Scotland)
- Public Health Wales has its coronavirus information here (Wales)
- If you're worried that you have coronavirus, please use the online NHS 111 service
Change the life of someone who desperately needs us