For those of you who suffer from anxiety then the current Coronavirus situation (or Covid-19) could be a huge trigger for you. Even if you don’t usually suffer from anxiety then it’s understandable that this situation is causing some of you to worry a lot. Meic is here to listen and to offer advice.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock these last few weeks (some of you might have chosen to do just that!!) then you’ve all probably heard of the Coronavirus. Now there are lots of varying opinions about this virus they call Covid-19:
- “It’s all a big conspiracy theory to hide something bigger” (I’ve heard some outrageous theories believe me!)
- “People are panicking too much, it’s not as bad as they’re making out.”
- “I’m worried but I won’t let it stop me getting on with things.”
- “WHERE’S THE PASTA! WHERE’S THE BOG ROLL! I NEED TO STOCK UP FOR THE NEXT YEAR NOW!”
And then you have those that are really, really anxious. Things feel overwhelming and it’s really upsetting and distressing.
There are many more in between of course, but don’t worry, Meic is here to offer advice during this coronavirus panic.
Take a break from social media
A breeding ground for panic inducing, sensationalist news and misinformed/fake news.
- If you hold your breath for 10 seconds and don’t cough then you don’t have coronavirus – NOT TRUE
- If you gargle with salt water or take regular sips of water it will keep the virus away – NOT TRUE
You don’t need to watch the news so much
If you find yourself watching the news all the time, waiting for the next piece of information, then now’s the time to stop. It’s good to stay informed and know what you should be doing but watching the news all day and night isn’t good for anyone. If you just check the news once a day it should be enough to keep you informed of what’s going on.
If you’re finding the news confusing and want it explained in an easier way, then take a look at Newsround, it might explain things in a clearer way for you.
Talk and ask questions
Feeling that you haven’t got all the facts can cause someone to panic or worry more, what you’re imagining in your head might be much worse than the truth. Most people have never experienced anything like this before, so the situation is unknown. Adults sometimes keep things from children and young people because they think they’re protecting them, but this might not be the right thing to do in every situation. If you feel that you want to know more then tell them. If you don’t understand something you’ve heard, then ask someone to explain it to you better.
Most people will be feeling all kinds of things during this time – confusion, worry, anger, stress – and this is ok. Don’t bottle up everything that’s worrying you. Talk to a parent, carer or trusted adult. If you can’t do this, or find that this isn’t helping because they are anxious themselves, then you can always talk to a Meic advisor. Our helpline uses technology that means our advisers are able to work from home, so even if everything were to go into lockdown then our advisers would still be here to help.
If your routine has to change because of social-distancing or self-isolation then make sure that you try to keep some kind of routine. It’s really tempting to think of it as a chance to do nothing, but if you’re suffering from anxiety or depression then doing nothing will not help. Keeping a routine and keeping busy will help, continue to learn by completing any work your school or college might have sent you, or search for online resources to continue learning. Read. Write. Play. Exercise. Keep busy.
Take care of your mental health
It’s really important that you eat healthily, that you get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of fluid and get some exercise (even with social distancing you can still go for a walk in the open air). Stay in contact with other people. Even if you can’t meet people face to face you can keep contact on the phone, text and video calls. Practice mindfulness and meditation. Take deep breaths. Relax in a warm bath. Read. Clean your space – organising your space can help organise your mind.
Headspace is offering a free collection of resources for people to use during this time. The ‘Weathering the Storm’ collection is available to anyone that downloads the app (click on the Explore tab to find the collection).
While the National Trust has closed all of their buildings for the time being, they are attempting to keep their gardens and parks open to the public for free. You can still get out for some fresh air while continuing to distance yourself socially. Check out if there’s a National Trust property near you.
You can create your own Mind Plan on the NHS’s Every Mind Matters pages. They ask 5 simple questions and will suggest top tips and advice for you tailored on your answers.
Meddwl.org has some Welsh language advice to take care of your mental health during the Coronavirus case.
Someone on your side
We hope that some of the advice above has been useful to you. If you need to talk, Meic is always here for you between 8am and midnight, every single day, by phone, text or instant message. Contact:
Freephone: 080880 23456