How my friends and family have been supporting me during lockdown
We're hearing a lot about the importance of staying connected and supporting each other right now, but what does that look like? Amy, 17, shares how her friends and family have been supporting her during lockdown.
The current coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on my mental health over the past few weeks. It has been difficult to cope with it all on my own, especially when access to some mental health services is limited due to lockdown.
My family have been supporting me by encouraging me to take part in different activities throughout the day and letting me know that they are here for me. It may be difficult, but I’ve found that opening up about my struggles was really helpful. It’s so important that you try to reach out to someone if you’re struggling.
It may be helpful to speak to the people in your household if you are struggling with your mental health. You can tell them about what is difficult and how they can best help and keep you safe. You may also find speaking to someone a good outlet for your problems because it can offload a lot of negativity.
My partner has been supporting me by calling me on the phone every day before bed. My negative thoughts are usually more difficult to cope with during the evening so having someone to talk to really helps me to stay calm and relaxed.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, there are loads of helplines available which you can use to speak to someone confidentially.
For a list of helplines and websites where you can find information, help or just a listening ear from someone who gets it, have a look at our need to talk page.
Some things you can speak to your family members about
- seeking extra support from mental health services
- seeking support from a GP
- particular struggles (e.g. anxiety, issues around food, depression etc.)
- how you feel they can help and/or support you
Things are difficult at the moment and it may feel like you are alone in this struggle. It is so important to reach out to those around you for support if you can; it doesn’t matter whether these are friends, partners, family members or helplines. The important thing is to talk about what’s going on for you.
Ways you can keep in contact during lockdown
- phone calls/text
- video calls (FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp)
- social media platforms
- sending letters
This time has been extremely tough but having a solid support network can make things a lot easier.
Things you can do to help a loved one struggling under lockdown
- Talk to them on the phone, video call or text. If it is someone in your household then you can of course speak to them in person.
- Ask them what you can do to support them and let them know that you are there for them.
- Ask them about their day and how/if they are keeping busy.
- Give them ideas of things they can do to help distract themselves (e.g. colouring, painting, playing music etc.).
- Send them a letter or card to let them know you’re thinking of them and to brighten their day.
- Send them TV show/film recommendations or make them a music playlist.
- Give them space and time to rest if they need it.
And finally, I’d like to share a quote that I find helpful to keep in mind:
Author: Amy, 17
If you are struggling with your mental health, or are worried about somebody else who is, take a look at our find help page for information, tips and suggestions of where you can get help.