Coronavirus and looking after your mental wellbeing | Central Bedfordshire Council

Coronavirus and looking after your mental wellbeing

The coronavirus pandemic and the re-introduction of tighter restrictions may bring mixed and fluctuating feelings. You may have just started to resume the things you enjoy like playing sports, getting back to work, seeing friends and family (even at a social distance). There will now be changes to these activities and you will have to adapt routines you may have just started to develop.

What you might be feeling about tighter restrictions being re-introduced

You may move through a range of feelings and thoughts:

  • stressed and unprepared
  • anxious or afraid
  • angry or frustrated
  • conflicted or confused 

These feelings are reasonable and expected. You may have to learn to cope with new and changing situations. Be aware that it may take time to adjust to necessary changes. It is important to take things at your own pace and be kind to yourself. 

Some days may feel fine and others not: remember it is important to look after your mental health during this time. Looking after our mental health helps us process and manage the feelings we are experiencing.

It is important to note that if you are really struggling with your mental health and it is disrupting your everyday life seek professional help and talk to your GP. You can also contact the local services and support organisations listed below.

If you or someone you know need urgent mental health support, call 111 option 2.

Mental wellbeing – top tips 

Preparing for winter

Some of the activities you have been doing to keep busy, may need to change slightly for the winter as the colder weather develops and in light of new restrictions. MIND has some useful tips on how to adapt your routine.

Connect with others

Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important. Talking about how we are feeling can be really helpful. Stay connected via email, social media, video calling and telephone. If you haven’t got anyone to talk to or you are struggling, you can call emotional support lines like the NHS volunteer service who provide a ‘check in and chat’ service call 0808 196 3646 or one of the helplines listed under useful contacts section.

Be active

Our physical health affects how we feel. It is important to eat healthily, drink enough water and exercise regularly. If you can, try to build simple physical activity into your daily routine like a home work out, a run, gardening, dancing to music, or seated exercise. Visit nhs.uk/live-well/exercise for information and advice.

Take notice and focus on the present

Engage with nature. Open the windows to get fresh air, watch the birds, tend to houseplants, listen to natural sounds apps. Notice the change in seasons. Find out more about being mindful on the NHS website.

Stick to the facts and limit your news intake

Do not stay glued to the news. A constant stream of news can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed. You could set yourself a specific time to read updates or limit to checking a couple of times a day – use trustworthy sources such as GOV.UK or NHS.

Have a routine

Wake up and go to bed at healthy times, get enough sleep. Include time to relax. For tips on sleep visit the Every Mind Matters Sleep page.

Do something you enjoy and keep your mind active

Find something of value in your day and do something for yourself (watch a favourite programme, do crosswords, art and crafts, cooking, gardening, reading a book).

Work and finance

You might be worried about money, have lost your job or are concerned you might become unemployed – these issues can have a big impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Visit Every Mind Matters for tips and advice on coping with money worries and job uncertainty during COVID-19.

Looking after a child or young person

The past few months have been hard on everyone, including our kids. But there are lots of things we can do to support them at this time. Be there to listen, stay involved in their life, support positive routines, encourage their interests, take what they say seriously. Find tips on supporting children or young people at Every Mind Matters.

Contacts and links to additional support

Local Services

Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service

Offers a range of confidential talking therapies and specialist support

Telephone: 01234 880400 
Email: elt-tr.bedfordiapt@nhs.net

Mind BLMK - mental health and wellbeing

Telephone: 0300 330 0648 
Email: hq@mind-blmk.org.uk 

Kooth - online counselling for young people

Mental Health Crisis

If you or someone you know needs urgent mental health support you can call 111, option 2.

Mind MK Crisis Café

Open 5 to 11pm, 7 days a week.
Telephone: 01525 722225

Path to Recovery

Substance Misuse and Addiction Service
Telephone: 0333 332 4019 

Samaritans 24/7

Telephone: 116 123 
Email: jo@samaritans.org

Useful links

Helplines

Shout Crisis Text line

Text Shout to 85258

CALM
Telephone: 0800 58 58 58

Our Frontline – support for frontline workers.
Text: FRONTLINE to 85258 or call 116 123 for a conversation with a trained volunteer 

National Debt Line– free and independent advice

Telephone: 0808 808 4000 from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday.