Coronavirus and your mental health. Plan for staying at home or indoors: If you’ve decided to stay at home or indoors, think about where you’re going to stay, for example if there’s a friend or family member who would be happy for you to stay with them. However, if you’ve been asked to self-isolate, it might not be possible to stay away from your own home. Eat well & stay hydrated. Find out about getting food delivered. For example, you might be able to order food online for home delivery. Or you could ask someone else to drop food off for you. Think about your diet. Your appetite might change if your routine changes, or if you’re less active than you usually are. Eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable can help your mood and energy levels. Drink water regularly. Drinking enough water is important for your mental and physical health. Changing your routine might affect when you drink or what fluids you drink. It could help to set an alarm or use an app to remind you. Keep taking your medication. 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. Ask your pharmacy about getting your medication delivered, or ask someone else to collect it for you. This will usually be possible, although if it’s a controlled drug the pharmacy might ask for proof of identity. Make sure anyone collecting medication knows if they have to pay for it. The NHS website has more information about getting prescriptions for someone else and checking if you have to pay for prescriptions. Be careful about buying medication online. You should only buy from registered pharmacies. You can check if a pharmacy is registered on the General Pharmaceutical Council website. You can contact NHS 111 if you’re worried about accessing medication. Continue accessing treatment & support if possible. Ask about having appointments by phone, text or online. For example, this could be with your counsellor or support worker. Ask your support worker / counsellor etc how they can support you. Take care of your immediate environment. If you’re spending a lot of time at home, you may find it helpful to keep things clean and tidy. If you live with other people, keeping things tidy might feel more important if you’re all at home together. But you might have different ideas about what counts as 'tidy' or how much it matters. It could help to decide together, how you’ll use different spaces. You could also discuss what each person needs, to feel comfortable. Cleaning your house, doing laundry and washing yourself are important ways to help stop germs spreading. Your energy costs will probably rise if you’re at home more than you usually would be. Think about how you can manage your energy use, or how to cover any higher bills. You could also ask your energy provider about any support they offer, for example if you can sign up to their priority services register. If you have care needs, or provide care for somebody else. If you use care services, you should let your Local Authority and care provider know if you have to self-isolate. If you provide care, or support someone you don’t live with, you should also let your Local Authority know if you have to self-isolate. Make it clear that support is still needed. Tell them that alternative arrangements are required if any of the usual support cannot continue. This may include things like carers visiting, day centre sessions, or friends and family coming over to help. The Carers Cenre will also have useful information:https://sheffieldcarers.org.uk/information-for-carers-and-others-about-coronavirus-and-covid-19/ Take care of your Mental Health & Wellbeing. If this is making you feel stressed or anxious, here are some things you could try: Don’t keep re-reading the same advice if this is unhelpful for you. Let other people know you’re struggling. Breathing exercises can help you cope and feel more in control. Set limits, like washing your hands for the recommended 20 seconds. Plan something to do after washing your hands. This could help distract you and change your focus. If you’re isolated, try keeping in touch with family and friends digitally. Listen to a chatty radio station or podcast if your home feels too quiet. Plan how you’ll spend your time. It might help to write this down on paper and put it on the wall. Try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time as normal, follow your usual morning routines, and go to bed at your usual time. Set alarms to remind you of your new schedule if that helps. If you aren’t happy with your usual routine, this might be a chance to do things differently. For example, you could go to bed earlier, spend more time cooking or do other things you don’t usually have time for. Try to keep active: Exercising at home can be simple and there are options for most ages and abilities, such as cleaning your home , dancing to music, going up and down stairs, seated exercises, online exercise workouts that you can follow, sitting less – if you notice you’ve been sitting down for an hour, just getting up or changing position can help. Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, and make you feel more relaxed. It’s possible to still get these positive effects from nature while staying indoors at home. You could try spending time with the windows open to let in fresh air, or having flowers or potted plants in your home. Keep your brain occupied and challenged. Set aside time in your routine for this. Read books, magazines and articles. Listen to podcasts, watch films and do puzzles. FutureLearn and OpenLearn have free online courses you could try. There are lots of apps that can help you learn things, such as a foreign language or other new skills. Stay connected with current events, but be careful where you get news and health information from. For up-to-date advice, see the NHS coronavirus webpage and gov.uk coronavirus webpages. If news stories make you feel anxious or confused, think about switching off or limiting what you look at for a while. Social media could help you stay in touch with people, but might also make you feel anxious including if people are sharing news stories or posting about their worries. Consider taking a break or limiting how you use social media. You might decide to view particular groups or pages but not scroll through timelines or newsfeeds.