Coronavirus - Looking After Mental Health and WelLbeing

(By Naomi Wright- School Counsellor)


So to start off, here are some general points.

  1. This coronavirus is something that is a massive change to everything that we expected and what we are used to. That means that you are having to make quick, huge changes. It means your thoughts, feelings, bodies and actions will be trying to work it out. We probably can’t expect that we will be able to feel how we do every day because ‘everyday’ isn’t there at the moment.
  2. Feelings are there to warn and protect us. They help us connect with others. But in times that are hard how do we deal with them?

Here are some suggestions

  • Remember we are all in this together and there will be lots of things that we do that are the same, like washing our hands! But your ways through this will be individual to you. Not everyone will like sport or painting!
  • Talk to others and share. Social distancing is about physical distancing not about stopping socialising. We need each other so use social media to connect and be social.
  • Having a reason why we are doing something that really hurts helps too. It helps if this reason is something that we can be proud of too. So think about your reasons for staying away from others. It could be things like

“I want to help out the NHS so I am going to try and stop as few people as possible getting infected.”

“I believe in helping others so by staying physically far away from others I can do this.”

  • There will be loads of opportunities to learn new things and make new connections. Some people will learn a new language or paint a house.
  • Know what the facts are and what you can do. Try to only get news from reputable sources. Rumours can make us feel worse.
  • Limit watching the news when if becomes overwhelming.
  • Do something for others. Get to know people on your street through social media. Help a vulnerable person.
  • Use this opportunity to get better at a skill you like. Like dancing? Learn a bit more. Like sport? What skill can you work on?
  • Routine can help. How will you plan your day?
  • Do things that help you feel calm. What about a bath or slippers? Run up the stairs ten times?
  • Watch something that makes you laugh. Send it out to your friends!
  • Cry if you need to! Don’t let the crying go on too long before you do something that will calm you and take your mind off things.
  • Find some things that you can say to yourself that help. You can write these down or put them on your phone, share them with your family and/or friends, make gifs etc
  • Do some school work!!! It is at least something you can do that will help you out the other side of this. So crack on with it and do as much as is helpful.
  • Stay safe yourself and protect yourself. Don’t get into situations with people online that you do not know! Make sure those you are in touch with are safe. Think through what you would do if someone online asked you to do things you do not like or threatened you. Who would you tell? How would you block them?
  • Catch up on the films, series, stories, books, friends you have missed.
  • Write a letter and post it.
  • Exercise and eat well- these help us cope.
  • Try some relaxation techniques (Mind and the NHS website have some examples)

There are calming apps- you could try some of these!

  • Woebot – Helps reframe negative thoughts
  • Molehill Mountain – Helping autistic people manage anxiety.
  • Calm Harm – Self harm distraction
  • DistrACT – Self harm support
  • Stay Alive – Suicide support resources
  • Mindshift- to help you cope with anxiety
  • Mood tracker- track your mood and sleep patterns
  • Pillow- monitors sleep
  • Pacifica- mood tracker (7 days free)
  • Headspace- meditations for sleep stress and anxiety
  • Calm- sleep hygiene (sleep stories, music to aid sleep)
  • Rise up and recover- support if you’re struggling with food, dieting exercise or body image
  • Smiling mind- modern meditation for young people aged 7 and above
  • Mindful Gnats- mindfulness and relaxation skills

Here are some useful contacts for support

Kooth Free Safe and anonymous online support for young people

Women’s Aid domestic violence charity - you can chat online

Samaritans -116 123-  

NHS 111 or 999 in an emergency   

Switchboard, the LGBTQ helpline 0300 330 0630

Anxiety UK Helpline (9:30am to 5:30pm) -08444 775 774

Cruse Bereavement Care-  (9:30am to 5pm weekdays) -0844 477 9400

NSPCC -0808 800 500-   

Childline 0800 1111 (9am -midnight)          

Men’s advice line -helpline for men experiencing domestic violence- 08088010327  

Marie Collins Foundation- for children or young people who have been harmed on line-  -01677460168


A number of organisations have published guidance on mental health and the coronavirus



The Mental Health Foundation


Young Minds


Anxiety UK "Health and other forms of anxiety and coronavirus"


BBC "Coronavirus: How to manage Anxiety and OCD during the pandemic"

Beat Eating Disorders "Eating Disorders and Coronavirus"


OCD-UK "OCD and Coronavirus Top Tips"