Helpful psychological information in response to Covid-19
Dr Kate Harrison (Consultant Psychologist)
Maintain routine – Normal wake and sleep times/regular meals – maybe take time to cook and eat together/adapt your fitness routines (this may be via online).
Limit media intake – Plan your media intake rather than a constant stream and use reputable sources. Don’t read about it or learn about all the time. Check the news once or twice a day.
Stay connected and keep communicating – Socialise whilst social distancing (phone calls, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, postcards, letters). Maybe plan regular meetups online or over the phone weekly with family and/or friends.
Get fresh air within government guidelines – Go for a walk or a bike ride whilst social distancing (in line with guidelines) in places that are not busy or at times of the day at that are not busy. Getting outside and being in nature can be helpful.
Take advantage of downtime when you have it – How could I use this time at home? Maybe de-clutter, watch a movie or box set at home, be creative, listen to music, garden if you can, read a book, practice mindfulness, connect with family and friends or tick off something off the home to do list.
Have private space in your home to have some time alone away from others – Having dedicated space and time to get away from others is important to your psychological health so you can take a break and do what you want – watch a film, yoga, read a book, relax. You may have to timeshare the lounge.
Be kind and show compassionate behaviour – to others and to yourself (self-care), model this to others. Think how can we safely help others whilst looking after ourselves.
Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t control – Sort your worries out into these two camps.
Anxiety is normal and understandable – In the current situation remember a level of anxiety is completely normal and understandable, don’t beat yourself up. If it becomes overwhelming or a problem seek help from family, friends or a healthcare professional.
Each person will have their own reactions to the current situation – Remember that we are all different. We all have individual ways of coping. We need to consider this and also what’s the most helpful and constructive ways that we individually cope.
Think about what you can still be grateful for everyday – Consider starting start a daily gratitude diary.
Stay in the day you are in – The present moment is the healthiest place to be, don’t project forward, or ruminate about what has happened that we can’t change. Thinking about the future about what ifs tends to drive anxiety. If you are starting to think more like this concentrate on ‘then what’ by problem solving what you can do that is in your control.