Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak

Looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak

It is important to look after your mental and physical wellbeing.

Take steps to look after your mental health.

Stay in touch with friends and family using your phone or computer. If you are working from home, keep in touch with colleagues online.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique which can help you to feel less stressed. It involves noticing what’s happening in the present moment without judging anything. It encourages you to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings, and be kinder to yourself. See the Mind website for more information.

Do not watch the news more than twice a day.

It doesn’t always give the full picture: remember, journalists pick out the news that they want to share. Constantly seeing soundbite news can just make you more anxious.

Please do not believe everything you see on social media. It’s great for catching up with friends and family, but not as a source of health advice. And be careful about sharing advice someone emails to you. If you want to know the facts about coronavirus, go to Public Health England or the NHS websites.

Talk to someone if you are struggling with stress or anger

icon - people talkingToo much stress can

  • damage your immune system and your heart
  • increase your chance of serious health problems
  • reduce your life-expectancy
  • damage your sex life.

Common warning signs include:

  • change in eating habits
  • change in sleeping patterns
  • using drink or drugs to escape your feelings
  • mood swings
  • finding it hard to concentrate.

If stress is getting you down, talk to someone. Here is a list of support organisations.

Download the Men’s Health Forum toolbox talk (976kb pdf) on stress and anger for more information.

Look after each other

If you are well, please keep an eye out for colleagues and make sure they are OK. This is a stressful time for us all, so more than ever, we need to look after each other, mentally as well as physically.

Ask someone how they are. If they’re finding things hard, just listening can be a big help.

If you are struggling, please reach out to your line manager, or one of the resources listed on our website.

The NHS website Every Mind Matters has a list of tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus.

See our web page with further mental health advice.

Exercise, eat well and stay hydrated

To help yourself stay well while you’re at home:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media.
  • Try to keep yourself busy – it might be a good opportunity to catch up with paperwork. You can also try cooking, reading, online learning courses (like MOOC) and watching films.
  • Do light exercise. If you have no garden, you may choose to leave the house to exercise, but stay at least two metres away from other people.
  • Mental Health UK has good advice for staying mentally healthy if you are working from home.

PS: a reminder – please follow government guidelines

If you need to get close to someone to stop them getting hurt, the government is clear that that you should do that.

But otherwise, please stay two metres away from people who are not in your household. Remember, even if you feel well, you could be carrying the virus, which means you could infect someone who is vulnerable, or who works in the NHS.

If your worksite is still open, see the CLC safe operating procedures for site working.

If you have a high temperature, or a new persistent cough, even if your site is open, you must not come to work for at least seven days. Follow the absence reporting and SSP procedures. You may not self-isolate for a few days and then decide to come back to work.

If you are self-isolating because you may have the virus, you must not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home.

Page updated 2 November 2020