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Coronavirus and Looking After Your Mental Health

It is easy when something like the current, worldwide Coronavirus happens for anxieties to flourish and to feel that we are losing control of the situation. Often panic buying is an attempt to maintain control over the situation you feel you are in. We also know that anxiety lowers the quality of our immune system which we need to fight this and other viruses.

There are some very simple things you can do to reduce anxiety, take back control and make yourself healthier.

I think part of this is to accept for a while things are going to be different and coming to terms with that by using the time if you are at home, to do those things that you put off for so long.

One of the first things I did was to switch off the push notifications on my phone. I was getting bombarded day and night with sensationalised stories (often conflicting) so I access the news when I want it now and only from trusted sources. Twitter isn’t great at this time as everyone has an opinion and it is difficult to know who to believe. Have a holiday from social media and do some spring cleaning. Unfollow those who are sensationalising!

Try to stick to trusted sources such as: Public Health England or NHS. These bodies are here to give you useful information rather than try to create circulation numbers! You can find the twitter pages for Public Health England here and the NHS can be followed here.

Secondly remember thoughts are not facts. Don’t allow you to build up a thought picture in your mind to believe in a version of events that isn’t accurate. Similarly speak to those who you live with about conjecture not being helpful. Ask them to deal in facts but also be prepared to ask them not to discuss the situation as it affects your anxiety.

Quite often in situations like this it is fear over what might happen that is worse than the situation itself. Therefore when you shop, shop locally and buy just what you need. If we all do that, we ensure there is enough for everyone and we support local small business who have the most to lose from the current situation.

Also try to take control of the situation by offering to help someone if they are older or have a pre-existing condition. Shop for them but make arrangements to leave the shopping outside the front door.

Remember there are people there for you always and that this situation will pass. You never know you might find a way of working or living that was preferential to before!

SAS are following the government guidelines and our wellbeing support continues to be available to staff insured on SAS policies in the event a member of staff needs further support. Counselling sessions can be completed over the telephone or by video to provide necessary support while avoiding one-to-one contact at this time.

SAS also are offering staff insured on SAS policies access to the only NHS approved mindfulness support for schools at no additional cost.

To access or for more information about SAS Wellbeing Services contact our nurses on 01773 814 403. You can also visit the SAS staff wellbeing page by clicking here.

“Mindfulness is very effective, especially during self-isolation”

– Professor Stewart-Brown, Public Health & Wellbeing Public Sector Advisor