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4. Coping with feeling overwhelmed

Living through a global pandemic is unprecedented in our generation and we may all feel overwhelmed, stressed or sad at points.

Isolating yourself at home with only minimal social interaction and working in different ways can be challenging.

Here are some simple steps you can take:

Feeling overwhelmed by the news or social media

  • Reduce watching, reading or listening to news if it makes you feel anxious or distressed.
  • Get facts and updates about coronavirus only from trusted sources such as the NHS.UK or GOV.UK, or reliable news sources such as the BBC. Try to ignore rumours, stories on social media which could be made up, or fake news.
  • Use the information about coronavirus mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones.
  • Get information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice to avoid feeling worried.
  • Social media will help you stay in touch, but if other people are sharing their stories or worries this could make you feel anxious. Think about connecting with particular people or groups rather than scrolling through timelines or newsfeeds.

Supporting yourself and others

  • Take one day at a time
  • Work out what your support network is. Who do you need support from and who do you need to support? Is it your family in your house, family members on Facetime, friends on Facebook, colleagues in WhatsApp? Create a new online group if you need to. Or just go old-school and use the telephone.
  • You cannot help others if you are distressed or overwhelmed. Take all the steps you need to, to look after yourself first – some time on your own in a different room, listening to music on headphones, doing some breathing exercises.
  • Look after others in your household or network, and make sure they are looking after you too.
  • Work together: Protect yourself and be supportive to others. For example, check-in by phone on neighbours or people in your community who may need some extra assistance.
  • Make plans to video chat with people or groups that you would usually see in person. A phone call or text message is also.
  • Join a Peer Support Group. MIND runs an online peer support community, where you can share your experiences and hear from others. Bear in mind some face-to- face peer support may be paused at the moment.)

Look out for the positives about what we are going through. There are many heartening stories out there about people helping each other and appreciating what they have. Notice how people are coming together to support their communities through these challenges.