COVID-19 has brought many worries regarding the health risks of the pandemic, combining this with issues such as being isolated and not being able to see friends and family has led to a massive impact on many people’s mental health.
Since the pandemic started, the number of people experiencing mental health issues has grown and many people with existing mental health issues have felt additional stress and anxiety as a result of how the pandemic has affected their lives. As a carer, being able to support someone to help them to understand their feelings and work out a plan to improve their mental health is more important than ever.
If you are feeling increased anxiety, depression or stress, or you are caring for someone who is, here are some tips to help cope with the current situation:
Get in contact with family and friends
Other people are likely to feel in a similar position to you and being able to talk to friends and family over the phone, or by video call can help to feel more connected and less isolated. As a carer, you might be able to reach out to some of your customer’s family members to arrange a regular phone call.
Look at online social opportunities
If you cannot get out of the house to socialise due to lockdown restrictions or shielding, it is worth looking at ways to socialise online. If you enjoy playing games, you could play online cards, bingo, boardgames like Scrabble and lots of other options.
Social networks such as Facebook can also help you to stay in touch with people and you can message them to have a chat. If you are a carer for somebody who is feeling lonely, arranging internet connection if they do not have it, can open up a lot of opportunities such as video calling family members. They do not have to operate it themselves, as you can do it for them when you visit.
Keep a routine
Maintaining a routine each day, even if it just includes what time you get up, wash, eat and sleep will give you a bit of structure and a sense of control. Planning to do practical things, like sorting out your cupboards, or re-arranging your furniture can also help to give you focus if you are feeling bored. If you are caring for someone, try to encourage them to maintain a routine and set out some daily tasks.
Have a good diet
Your diet has a big impact on your mental health, so make sure that you or the person you are caring for has a healthy, balanced diet with food that boosts your mood like vegetables and fruit. Exercise is also important and even doing some easy indoor exercises can form part of the daily routine and help to build strength.
Talk about how you are feeling
Talking to a friend, colleague or carer can help people to work through some of their worries. Alternatively, there are lots of different types of support available from online counselling and video call counselling, to CBT therapy that you can be referred to by your GP. The NHS also has a local psychological therapies service that you can self-refer to online.
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