We know that Covid-19 can impact on our physical health but what about our mental health? I’m writing this about half an hour after Boris Johnston has announced the latest social restrictions in an attempt to slow down the spread of Covid-19. The last few weeks have been surreal. It still feels like I might wake up in the morning and find out it’s all a bad dream.
Pubs, restaurants, libraries are shut. Travelling is restricted to essential journeys. We’re allowed out once a day for “one form of exercise”. So much has changed in such a short time.
People are trying to work effectively from home at the same time as educating their kids. Jobs have been lost, money is tight. School exams have been cancelled. Weddings that have been saved up for and planned for with great excitement have been banned. And we’re all worrying about our physical health.
Healthcare workers are under tremendous pressure, dealing with a completely unknown situation.
Social distancing for many people is going to lead to long term social isolation and loneliness.
COVID-19 and our Mental health
It’s clear that the effects of COVID-19 are also going to have a tremendous impact on our mental health so what can we do about it.
I’ll link here to a really important article by Dr Russ Harris, called “FACE COVID. ” I’ll summarise the key points here, but I highly recommend reading the whole article
First of all he reassures us that our feelings of fear and anxiety are completely normal. Then he encourages us to focus on the things in our lives which are within our control.
He describes how often in a situation like this our thoughts can form a storm inside our head and body, with spinning and whirling painful thoughts and feelings. He then describes an easy exercise to “anchor” your mind and body in the storm.
Read it, it’s really easy to do.
The second half of the article uses the word COVID to remind us about further action we can take to support our mental health.
- C- Committed action – this means doing things that are important to you. Looking after your loved ones, or those that need help. Keeping yourself fit and healthy
- O-Opening up – recognising your difficult feelings and being kind to yourself will help you cope in a crisis
- V – Values – what’s important to you? How can you live your values over the course of a day?
- I- Identify resources – how can you support yourself?
- D- Disinfect & distance physically
So read the full article in all it’s detail. It’s really really worthwhile
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