There is no doubt the Coronavirus has had a major impact on the mental health of many people. But There is plenty of help available, not least through steps you can take yourself.
The primary focus of the Coronavirus pandemic has been on the health emergency it has directly created as thousands of Britons have died from the disease and many more have suffered serious illness. But that has not been the only issue.
Much has been made of the economic damage done by the crisis, although as the economy opens up that will start to ease, even if some of the impact will be felt broadly. There as also been a lot of attention on the harm done to the education of school-age children.
However, the government is planning extra spending and other schemes to bolster the economy, plus catch-up programmes to fill the schooling gap.
Is the mental impact of Covid-19 being forgotten?
On the other hand, relatively little attention has been paid to the effects on mental health of the virus. This has taken many forms:
- Personal fear of catching the virus or of loved ones dying from it
- Fear of losing jobs
- Despair at the thought that the crisis will last a long time
- Loneliness for those living on their own.
These issues can hit anyone, although they could be worse still for those who already have mental health issues. Many experts have warned of a new epidemic – of mental health issues.
Some are going back to work in settings like pubs, cinemas and hair salons and may need ongoing support from their employers. But those still on furlough will still be isolated from work-based support, which is where finding means of self-help will be very important.
Great hacks to use
The following are good examples of the kind of mental health hacks people can use at home to help themselves:
- Limit screen time, especially in the evening: Too much time online looking at the news can be overwhelming, especially when there is so much focus on bad news. In addition, the light from screens makes it harder to relax in the evening, causing a negative impact on sleep levels.
- Find a fun activity to do every day: Whether it is reading, playing a game, watching a fun video, or going for a walk somewhere nice. All this can help lighten the mood and help you to count your blessings, not your worries.
- Be creative: Turning your attention to being creative is a great way to exercise your mind in a positive way and give yourself a feeling of achievement. Gardening can be a great way to do this, but if you don’t have a garden, try art, craft or poetry.
- Make the effort to keep in touch with people. Don’t just email them – talk on the phone or video chat so you can hear their voices and see their faces. It’s not as good as being able to hug them, but it will reduce any feelings of isolation.
By taking steps like these, you can help ease your mental health struggles as furlough continues, and avoid getting in a rut.
Check out more of Daryl’s furlough hacks here to keep your mind healthy and active.