Stressful news cycles, home-schooling of restless children, ever-increasing death tolls and financial markets in crisis – it’s no wonder that anxiety levels are through the roof and calls to mental health support services are peaking. But there’s help out there if you need it.
We’ve reflected already on the difficulties of adapting to the new normal of working from home (more than once, in fact), but for most, the pandemic poses challenges far beyond work logistics. From financial and health concerns to drastic changes to our everyday lives, to say that a rug has been pulled out from under our feet would almost be an understatement.
Many of those already familiar with mental health struggles are suffering more as a result of the pandemic. One survey of 800 people with mental illness noted that 80% had seen their mental health worsen due to the crisis, with 28% saying that it was much worse. But even among those previously mentally fit and well, dealing with the uncertainty and stress caused by the pandemic has made for a tough few months and triggered concerns that their mental health won’t be what it once was, even after lockdown.
What you can do
In many ways, the secrets to staying grounded and mentally well are the same now as they’ve always been. Acknowledging and talking about your needs is a good place to start, and basic things like sleep, exercise and nutritious food will go a long way. At the same time, it’s important to recognise that we are living through a global crisis and that lowering the bar where you can might be necessary. If you don’t already have a crisis plan, making one now can help.
Young children will need very simple information and reassurance that they are safe, while older kids might need help to distinguish facts from rumours and imagined fears. For all of us, sticking to some sort of routine, however hard that seems, can make a world of difference.
Strategies for living life to the full
Amidst all the anxiety, the good news is that there is plenty of help out there, should you need it. One example is the series of booklets called Living Life to the Full, produced by Dr. Chris Williams as part of the Five Areas project. Living Word are working with the team on translating the booklets into nine different languages, helping to spread the word about simple ways to mind yourself and stay well. Health and wellness are topics close to our heart, and we are very proud of the translations we provided on these very subjects even before the coronavirus crisis, for the Rescue Remedy, Bach and Spatone blogs.
With titles ranging from 10 things you can do to feel happier straight away to Building inner confidence and Understanding your feelings, the Living Life to the Full booklets are clear, well-designed and really practical, and we’re delighted to have played a part in such an important project.