How can Bath Mind help?
Bath Mind want to support you through what, for most, continues to be a difficult time for people’s mental health and wellbeing. Our services are still open, and are offering both virtual and face-to-face support.
With many of us self-isolating and social distancing, we appreciate that some may find this particularly difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing. See of our tips below:
How can you keep mentally well?
Manage your Immediate Environment
Managing your home environment is vital in a time where we find ourselves staying indoors much more than usual. Here are some tips on how to stay mentally well in your home:
If you are spending a lot of time at home, you may find it helpful to keep things clean and tidy.
If you live with other people, decide together how you’ll use different spaces. You could discuss what each person needs to feel comfortable, and make some new ‘house rules’ that help everyone feel more at ease and understanding. These certainly do not have to be strict rules, why not have some fun with it with your house/flatmates!
Cleaning your house, doing laundry and washing yourself are important ways to help stop germs spreading, and can help with feeling more in control of your personal situation.
If you’re feeling claustrophobic at all, pull up blinds and open windows as best as you can. it’s important to still benefit from fresh air, even if you’re indoors more than usual.
Exercise can be anything that gets your body moving and heart rate up, like walking, jogging, running, cycling and more. If you’re looking for some guidance, we’ve put some of our favourites below:
Supporting Wellbeing at Home: A simple PDF from Mind on small ways to keep active, and the 5 ways to wellbeing.
#StayInWorkOut: Tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home from Sport England. Join the movement and use #StayInWorkOut to share how you’re getting active during this time.
Active 10: The Active 10 app is a great way to help you monitor and gradually increase your brisk walking over time.
NHS 10 minute workouts: Only got a few minutes? The 10-minute workout ideas are perfect if you’ve only got a bit of spare time when you’re at home.
Joe Wicks P.E Lessons: Looking for something to do with the kids? Joe Wicks has done some fantastic YouTube P.E lessons for all.
Couch to 5k: This is a 9-week running programme designed for complete beginners by the NHS. Many of our Bath Mind staff have used this successfully, so we’d highly recommend!
Parasport: Parasport have created accessible home workouts that ideal for wheelchair users and those just getting started or haven’t been active for a while.
Wesport: Wesport have a page dedicated to COVID-19 support, including a Join the Movement page where you can find a wide variety of on demand and live online classes to suit any fitness level. They also have some excellent advice around getting outside and making the most out of the fresh air.
Yoga with Adriene: Yoga instructor Adriene offers hundreds of free YouTube videos guiding you through different practices. From complete beginner sessions to 30 day challenges, you can find yoga for all levels here.
Keeping a Routine
Maintaining a daily/weekly routine for your mental health and wellbeing is vital. With daily life altered due to social distancing and staying at home, it’s likely that your usual routine has been completely disrupted. Create a new routine for yourself and other’s in your home, particularly if you are at home with children.
A routine does not need to mean a strict timetable of productivity, it simply means you have a structured plan for the day, that allows you to plan ahead and feel slightly more in control of your wellbeing. Create a new daily or weekly routine that prioritise looking after yourself, including a variety of things you enjoy and techniques to keep mentally well. A routine could include:
- Watching a film/tv show
- Mapping out your working day if you are working from home
- Meditation and/or exercise
- Rest and relaxation!
Working from Home
Many of us are now based at home, or working in different circumstances, so it’s vital to look after our own mental health and wellbeing whilst working.
Mental Health First Aid England have launched a the My Whole Self campaign, where they are calling on organisations to empower employees to bring their whole self to work, and support their own and others’ wellbeing. They have shared some useful resources which encourage employers and employees to look after their wellbeing whilst working from home:
- See here their My Whole Self MOT check-in which gives you practical ways to check in with your mental health regularly whilst working.
- They have also shared a resource here on Supporting Your Mental Health While Working From Home including useful habits to build into your routine to keep mentally well
Please also see below some additional resources:
If you are on Medication
Keep taking your medication as planned, and ensure you know when you need to order any repeat prescriptions. Here is some guidance on how to get your prescription safely and easily:
- You might be able to order repeat prescriptions by phone. Or you may be able to do this online using an app or website, if your doctor’s surgery offers this. You could download the free NHS App and search for your surgery.
- Ask your pharmacy about getting your medication delivered, or ask someone else to collect it for you. Make sure anyone collecting medication knows if they have to pay for it.
- Be careful about buying medication online. You should only buy from registered pharmacies.
Supporting Others in your Household
If you’re living with others in your household, you may need to support them as well as yourselves. For many families, this can be an extremely worrying time for both parents and children alike, with their usual routines disrupted. Here are some resources that may help:
- Looking for ways to talk to your child about Coronavirus? Young Minds have some great tips.
- Need some guidance as a carer? Carers UK has information on providing care for someone who is staying at home, what to do if you start to have symptoms of coronavirus, and making a plan for your caring responsibilities in case you become ill.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Needle Phobia
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being rolled out to the public. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to get the vaccine, and you don’t need to make an appointment until then. The current lockdown in the U.K. and the wait for the vaccine may cause anxiety and low mood, meaning that the self care techniques and information above are all incredibly important for maintaining good mental wellbeing in these challenging times.
The NHS website has all of the information about the current progress of the vaccination programme, including information on why the vaccine is safe and important, how to book your appointment, and more, and can be found here. They also have a directory of vaccination information from other organisations here.
Public Health England have also created this easy read guide to the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination process, all in easily digestible English and format.
Needle phobia (trypanophobia) is a very common fear of procedures involving needles, which affects around 1 in 10 people in the UK. This is nothing to be ashamed of – you are not alone in your phobia. The phobia can manifest as deep anxiety before, during and after the vaccination appointment and can deter some from getting a vaccine.
With so much coverage and footage of the COVID-19 vaccination, it is normal to experience feelings of anxiety and stress when viewing images of needles, when planning to get your vaccination or when receiving your vaccine. There are relaxation techniques that can help when these feelings of anxiety and stress come up.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Method:
The progressive muscle relaxation method is an effective way to lower blood pressure, which is particularly useful when feeling faint or dizzy.
This is how you can try the method:
- While inhaling, contract one muscle group (for example your upper thighs) for 5 seconds to 10 seconds, then exhale and suddenly release the tension in that muscle group.
- Give yourself 10 seconds to 20 seconds to relax the muscles completely and to take a couple of breaths before moving onto the next muscle group (for example your thighs or arms)
- While releasing the tension, try to focus on the changes you feel when the muscle group is relaxed. Imagery may be helpful in conjunction with the release of tension, such as imagining that stressful feelings are flowing out of your body as you relax each muscle group.
- Gradually work your way up the body contracting and relaxing muscle groups.
Using the breath:
You can also receive treatment for needle phobia that has proven to be successful for others that have been affected. Some treatment options include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or exposure therapy. Your GP can help you to receive this treatment.
The Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Trust have an excellent resource on self help and how to overcome needle phobia here.
You may also find these resources useful:
- Coronavirus and your Wellbeing, Mind
- Advice for Parents and Carers, B&NES Council
- Managing mental health when coming out of lockdown, Mind
- Government Advice on COVID-19 www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Information on changes to Mental Health Act, Rethink
- Information for people suffering with severe mental illness, Rethink
- Be scam aware, Friends Against Scams
- PDF Hand Washing Advice, Public Health England
This page was last updated on 13th October 2021 using the most up to date information available.