Looking after your wellbeing
It is important to state that reactions to the COVID-19 situation such as fear, confusion, stress and anxiety are entirely normal emotions to experience during such a challenging time.
The tips, advice and support outlined below can help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while staying at home.
Government guidance (see here) provides advice on how people can look after their own mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
FREE online support
North Tyneside Talking Therapies have made Silvercloud, an online therapy tool, free to use for the next 12 months for all North Tyneside residents. To access Silvercloud please complete the online referral form here or call on 0191 295 2775 to ask for CBT for Covid19.
Five ways to wellbeing
Connecting with other is more important than ever in these uncertain times. While we all need to practice social distancing, we can all keep up our connections with others:
- Talk to your friends and family via videocall, have a cup of tea, play games or have a meal together
- Search for North Tyneside Covid 19 Mutual Aid group on Facebook
- Join the North Tyneside Council Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to see what’s going on in the area
- Every Thursday evening at 8pm get onto your doorstep/out your window along with your neighbours to #clapforcarers – a great way for us to feel like we’re in this together, and to thank all our frontline workers. Take a video and send it to @NTCouncilTeam on social media
- Write a letter to someone, it’ll brighten their day (and yours!)
- Check in with the people in your life – spend 5 minutes listening
- Say thank you to our waste team by leaving them a note or picture on top of your bin – it’ll cheer them and you up! This is one of our favourites so far!
- Pop a positive sign or picture in your window or give a passer by a wave or smile – it’s the small things that help us feel connected to each other.
Learning something new is associated with positive mental health and wellbeing.
There’s a lot of information on the internet about COVID-19, learn all you need to know about what’s going on, how you may be feeling and how to deal through this free online course.
Other ideas include:
- Reading a book – while our libraries are closed, you can still access lots of ebooks and audiobooks, more info here
- There’s lots of e-learning available to keep your brain busy at skillsnorthtyneside.org.uk
- Keep the kids engaged with Britannica Library
- Learn more about some of our favourite landmarks like St Mary’s Lighthouse, or follow Segedunum Roman Fort on Facebook for great activities to do with children.
Being active is good for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. It helps us deal with stress, releases happy hormones and builds our self-esteem.
- As long as you and everyone is your household is well, get outdoors for some daily exercise – a walk, run or bike ride are all great ways to enjoy being outside
- Check out the Active North Tyneside Facebook page for ideas
- There are online 10 minute workout videos from the NHS available here
- Join Sport England in their #stayinworkout movement to see what others are up to and to work out together, but apart
- If you haven’t been very active lately, get back into moving slowly with NHS exercise videos here
- Open to all North Tyneside residents, a free 60 day trial of over 800 classes from beginner to advanced with Les Mills On Demand. There is also the option to pay the reduced monthly rate of £7.95 if you want to continue after the free trial, or cancel within your 60 day trial and pay nothing. First time users only. To start your free trial, click here.
- Pay attention to how you're feeling and check on those around you as well
- Share things that have made you happy throughout the day with friends, family or colleagues, it can help to lift your mood!
- Create a wind-down routine to reflect on your day
- When getting your daily exercise, don’t forget to appreciate your surroundings and take it all in.
Giving back not only helps others, it can improve your own mental wellbeing by giving us a sense of purpose and makes us feel connected.
- Join North Tyneside’s COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group, set up to help each other out over the coming weeks and months
- Visit the VODA webpage set up to tell you about the volunteering opportunities available in North Tyneside
- Find out if there is a way to support those who might be isolated through Age UK North Tyneside
- Send a text or put a letter through your neighbour’s door to let them know you are there for them.
Don’t forget to ask for help for yourself if you need it through any of the organisations above or through North Tyneside’s Corona Virus helpline – 0345 2000 101.
What to do if you’re struggling to cope
If you're struggling to cope, share your feelings with a good friend, a relative or a work mate, be open about how you are feeling.
If you feel like you are struggling to cope there are helplines and websites that can offer support:
- Contact your GP or ring NHS 111
- Shout: the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support, text Shout to 85258
- Contact your local Mental Health Crisis Team: crisis teams are made up of experienced mental health staff, including nurses, social workers, psychiatrists and pharmacy staff, and offer services to anyone over the age of 16, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please note they do not provide an ‘emergency’ service such as 999. For North Tyneside you should call: 0303 123 1146
- The Samaritans offer a free telephone support line, simply ring 116 123, day or night to talk to someone who can help. They offer additional information, advice and guidance on coping during the coronavirus pandemic
- The Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393 provides an information and signposting service for people suffering with mental health problems. They are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
- Papyrus UK Preventing Young Suicide, offer the Hope Line advice service for children, teenagers and young people or parents and carers who are concerned about a young person. Call: 0800 0684141, text: 07786 209 697, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Suicide Prevention also has lots of resources, support and signposting information here.
Other sources of advice and support
Mind offers advice, support and information to people experiencing a mental health difficulty and their family and friends. Mind also has a network of local associations in England and Wales to which people can turn for help and assistance:
- Call InfoLine: 0300 123 3393, or text 86463 (lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, except bank holidays)
- Email: email@example.com
Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, recover a better quality of life. It provides effective services and support and campaigns for change through greater awareness and understanding.
- National Advice Service: 0300 5000 927 (lines open 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
A helpline for men in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.
- Helpline for men: 0800 58 58 58 (lines open 5pm to midnight, every day of the year)
- Webchat: www.thecalmzone.net/help/webchat/
SANE services provide practical help, emotional support and specialist information to individuals affected by mental health problems, their family, friends and carers.
- Support Forum: www.sane.org.uk
- Saneline: 0300 304 7000 (local rate on BT landlines, open 4:30-10:30pm every day).