Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Coronavirus and mental wellbeing

Please remember to follow government guidance on social distancing while doing any of our recommendations below. Latest advice is available on our Coronvirus web page. You are allowed to be outside for exercise once a day on your own or with other people from your house. Please keep a two meter distance from anyone else while you are outside.

Information about Coronavirus or COVID-19 is all over the news on TV and the radio.

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This can create feelings of stress and being overwhelmed with the unknown and uncertainty over the spread of the virus. This may include feelings of fear and anxiety, irritability, insecurity or being unsettled, lack of control, trouble sleeping or eating, and excessively checking for symptoms.

Whilst for some people these feelings can be part of daily life, others can find these are disruptive to their everyday living.

Being worried at this time is normal, but it is important to consider how this may affect our mental wellbeing and impact on the communities we live in. 

Protecting the mental wellbeing of us all is really important. There are a lot of things we can do to help protect and promote our mental health and wellbeing, which applies to all ages.

Following the five ways to good wellbeing can help protect your mental wellbeing;

Richard Sharpe, Public Health Practitioner, mental wellbeing.

1 Connect:

Whatever your age or situation, it is important to stay in touch with friends and family and even making new friends. Not gathering with friends and family is an important element of our collective response to COVID-19, however social distancing or if you are having to self-isolate doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch by setting up group chats via social media, email, facetime/video calling or just picking up the phone and having a chat with friends and family. It is a good idea to discuss your fears with someone you trust and focus on positive stories (e.g. listen to the voices of local people who have recovered or who have supported a loved one through recovery), practice gratitude together and talk about a mutual topic such as a book or film.

2 Be active:

Whether in or outside your home, it is important to keep active to maintain both your physical and mental wellbeing. Walking or running, if you are able to, around your local environment is the best way to get some exercise as it is great for your physical and mental wellbeing. There is a range of exercises at home guided videos designed by our Healthy Cornwall service. They have been designed for anyone to use, you can make them as easy or as hard as you feel comfortable. They have been designed for people who might have low mobility or a cardiac condition too. You won't need any special equipment just a chair, a couple of tins of food or bottles of water, and a couple of shopping bags.

3 Keep learning:

Doing something different such as trying a new hobby (e.g. a puzzle, craft, drawing, listening to new music or photography) is also a good way to keeping active. Whilst it is important to be factual, it is also important to take time away from the news and take part in the things you enjoy. This is particularly important for children and older people, so the activities need to be age appropriate.

4 Give:

Supporting others in the community who are in need of help, or volunteering can help make new friends, keep active and gain new skills. Avoiding stigma that may come with the impact of Covid-19 and helping others in your community can make a real difference to your own and someone else’s wellbeing. Lot's of people are offering help during the outbreak, if you'd like to volunteer you can register with Volunteer Cornwall.

5 Take notice:

Try to be mindful of your environment in and around your home. Make the time to get as much sunlight, fresh air and nature as you can, while still following Public Health social distancing guidelines.

If you'd like to try mindfulness, Louise from Healthy Cornwall has created a short guided session you can follow online at home.

 

Taking the time to relax, eat well, stay hydrated and maintain healthy and active lifestyles that include regular sleeping patterns will also help you to support your overall wellbeing. 

Using online apps such as “Calm” and “Headspace” may help with promoting calming thoughts and/or escaping the news. The Mental Health Foundation has provided some useful guidance about maintaining your mental wellbeing whilst at home.

In undertaking these activities, it is important to follow guidance from trusted sources such as Public Health England or the NHS or Local Authority and maintain hygiene to the recommended amount of time to prevent the spreading of the virus (i.e. hand washing for 20 seconds). Equally, it is as important to avoid this becoming ritualistic in the way we live our lives. If you experience difficult feelings or behaviours to do with washing and hygiene, you might find it hard to hear advice about washing your hands, and the Mind website for support to help you with this.

The below provides some useful links for further information. We will also be publishing some more specific advice around mental wellbeing for different groups of people. This includes the different needs of children, adults, pregnant women, older people and those who care for others for example.