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Covid-19

While many of us may be feeling worried or stressed about the impact of coronavirus, there are things that we can be doing to look after our mental wellbeing at this time. On this page, you will find some additional resources that might help you to look after your mental health, and some resources in other areas.

It has been a hard start to the year, following the announcement of another national lockdown in Scotland. This time around, it’s also now colder and darker, and we’re all feeling burned-out from the restrictions. This lockdown, however, is not going back to square one. It comes with the knowledge and skills that we have gained during the first time and over the last few months.

Here are some tips for how you can look after yourself and get through it again.

Prioritise self-care
To best cope with the situation, we need to start by looking after ourselves. Make time to take care of yourself; eat properly, sleep regularly, and exercise when you can. By doing these small acts of self-care, you’ll feel better able to cope with the situation.

And remember, your self-care needs might change depending on how you feel each day too. On some days, it might be having a nap, on others, it might be calling a friend. Listen to how you’re feeling.

Think about your experience during the last lockdown
Although it’s hard to think back to our first experience of lockdown, it is helpful to think about how you felt and what you did. You could ask yourself:

What drained your energy and what made you feel energised?
What things did you feel like you had to do, and what things did you actually enjoy doing?
Who, or what made you happy?
By asking yourself these questions, you can identify positive actions that you want to take this time around, and things that negatively impacted your wellbeing that you want to avoid. It’s helpful to remember what got you through lockdown last time, but don’t be afraid to think about other strategies that you haven’t tried too!

Limit how much time you spend on social media or watching the news
During lockdown, it can be tempting to stay glued to the news or to spend time scrolling through social media. Too much of either, however, can negatively impact our wellbeing.

Focus your time on social media to whatever makes you feel positive and connected. Think about the accounts that you are following, and consider unfollowing them if they make you feel anxious. It’s also important to remember that social media is often a filtered version of someone’s life, so don’t compare your experience of lockdown to what you see on there.

Try to reduce how much you watch, read, or listen to the news too if you find that it’s making you feel overwhelmed. You could try only reading the news once a day.

Connect with those around you
We can still connect with each other during lockdown, just in different ways. Being able to see people’s facial expressions and hear their voice lets you really connect with them, so video calling someone can be a great way to stay in touch. If you are experiencing ‘Zoom fatigue’, where you’re tired from the time spent on video calls, you could try doing shorter calls, phoning someone, or even writing to them using our #WritingToSayHello postcards.

Navigating change
Being comfortable with change and restrictions on our life is not easy. COVID-19 has brought about a lot of changes, and it’s okay to feel like the situation seems out of our control. There are lots of strategies, like mindfulness, that can help you to navigate these circumstances. Being mindful means being present in your surroundings and it helps us to have some clarity of mind and feel more comfortable with change. You could read our tips on mindfulness and relaxation here.

We are living through unparalleled times, so be gentle with yourself and do reach out for support if you need it.

You can find out what about the support we can provide here. We're also currently providing training on building your personal resilience in challenging times, which you can find out more information on here.

If you need help now then please call Samaritans on 116 123, or Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87. We also have contact details of other organisations that might be helpful here.

Mental health resources

The World Health Organization
The World Health Organization has developed a mental health guide. It includes information for how to look after your mental health and wellbeing if you are self-isolating, if you are a healthcare worker, team leader or manager of a health facility, or a care provider for children or older adults and people living with underlying health conditions.

NHS Inform
Practical advice on looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak can be found on NHS Inform, Scotland's health information site here. They also have BSL videos on YouTube, and Easy Read documents.

NHS and Public Health England – Every Mind Matters
The NHS has provided some information around how to best look after your mental health and wellbeing while you are staying at home.

The BBC
The BBC has created a guide that includes useful tips around what people can do to protect their mental health during this time.

Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation has developed some tips for what people can be doing to look after their mental health and the mental health of their friends and family.

Mind
Mind has provided information around coronavirus and wellbeing, including tips for staying at home, looking after your mental health and wellbeing and a checklist for whether you are ready to stay at home.

SAMH
SAMH has a hub of information and guidance around looking after your mental health while the virus developments are ongoing.

Young Minds
Young Minds provides information about how to talk to your child about coronavirus, as well as some tips for how to look after your mental health while you are self-isolating.

CALM
CALM has provided free resources to help support people’s mental and emotional wellbeing, including soothing meditations and sounds.

Other resources

Drinkline and FRANK
Drinkline, the national alcohol helpline is available weekdays 9am to 8pm and weekends 11am to 4pm on 0300 123 1110.

FRANK also has a helpline for difficulties regarding drugs, which is open 24 hours, 7 days a week on 0300 123 6600.

Scottish Government
A national helpline has been set up to provide help to those who do not have family or existing community support and cannot get online and who are over 70, disabled, require the support of mental health services, are pregnant or receive a flu jab for health reasons. The helpline will be open from 09.00-5.00pm on 0800 111 4000. More information can be found here.

Scottish Funeral Costs Advice Helpline
The Scottish Funeral Costs Advice Helpline is currently providing emotional support by a psychotherapist for those who call 03000 11 33 01.

UK Government
The UK Government has provided translated version of guidance to stay at home for households with possible coronavirus.

Women's Aid
Women’s Aid has created a page dedicated to safety advice for women who are isolating in a household with their perpetrator.

Scottish Government Clear Your Head campaign

The Scottish Government launched the 'Clear Your Head' campaign, which highlights practical things that you can do to look after your mental health and wellbeing whilst continuing to stay at home.

The campaign website, clearyourhead.scot, provides tips which are focused around the following:

  • Keeping to a routine – trying to sleep and wake at the same time, and eating at regular times.
  • Moving more – staying active, within the current guidance, to boost your mood.
  • Taking a break – limiting exposure to the news on social media if you feel things are getting on top of you, instead using fun games, quizzes and apps online to pass the time.
  • Making time for yourself – simply taking a breather or doing something you enjoy.
  • Keeping in touch – phoning family and friends to ease worry and feel connected.

The campaign website also signposts to sources of help and advice including NHS Inform, and helplines including NHS24, Breathing Space, SAMH and the Samaritans.

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