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If you’re worried about the impact of coronavirus on your mental health, you are not alone. The COVID-19 pandemic is a new and uncertain time for all of us, so it is only natural that it will affect our mental health in different ways. However you are feeling right now is valid. With the right help and support, we can get through this. Here is our advice on things you can do to keep mentally healthy during this time.  

If you find yourself feeling down during self-isolation, it can be very easy to slip into the mindset that you are alone, but this isn’t the case.
Laura, 21

I am anxious about coming out of lockdown

  • It's totally normal to feel worried about things changing as we move out of lockdown. But if you find you're worrying so much it's hard to do other things, speak to a friend or trusted adult about how you're feeling.
  • Remember that it's OK to take things at your own pace.
  • If you're worried about seeing people or being around people again, have a look at our blogger Molly's tips for coping with social anxiety.
  • Our blogger Rachael shares how she's coping with anxiety about going back to work.

I’m feeling anxious all the time

A lot of people are finding things tricky at the moment, and allowing myself to recognise that these are difficult times for everyone, and that it’s okay to struggle has really helped my anxiety surrounding this situation.
Madeleine, 19

My mood is low because of all the bad news

  • Limit the time you spend checking the news and try to follow social media accounts that keep you positive and make you smile. Accounts like @the_happy_broadcast on Instagram only post good news stories.  
  • We have loads of tips on cleaning up your social media feed for a more positive time online - take a look at #OwnYourFeed.
  • Follow the YoungMinds Instagram account! @youngmindsuk 

I am struggling with self-isolation and social distancing

Things you can do during self-isolation

Here are some links to things that can keep you connected, busy or entertained during self-isolation. 

Learn a language
If you want to use this time to learn a language or brush up on your language skills, there are lots of resources available online. We like Duolingo and Drops, which both help you get to grips with the basics of a number of languages with fun games, and can both be downloaded as smartphone apps.

Play games over video call
Houseparty is a great app you can use to video call friends, either individually or in groups. You can also play fun games together through the app!

Learn something new
If you fancy learning something new, The Open University has made a number of courses available - you can learn about anything from history, to psychology to science...all for free!

Try some indoor exercise
If you want to get a bit of exercise from the comfort of your home, Joe Wicks, a fitness trainer, is uploading home workouts every day, which are all available on YouTube.

Practice mindfulness and meditation 
You could also use the time to practise mindfulness. Apps like Calm and Headspace offer loads of guided meditations.

Your wellbeing is always the most important thing to take care of, particularly at times like this. It is okay to be upset now but remember that we’re all in this together, and there are always going to be people who will listen and who you can talk to.
Elsa, 18

I am struggling to manage my eating disorder

Eating disorders thrive on isolation so turn your meal times into social activities over the phone or on Skype!
Hope Virgo, author and mental health campaigner

I have lost a loved one due to coronavirus

  • Dealing with loss is difficult and there is no right way to react when someone dies. We all experience loss differently.
  • Please read our advice from other young people who understand what it is like to deal with grief and loss.

What else can I do to look after my mental health?

  • Visit our blog for real stories from young people getting through the coronavirus pandemic, self-care tips and finding help. 
As hard as it can be when you have no deadlines, it is important to try and keep a regular routine.
Dhyana, 18

Helplines and services available

The Mix

  • You can find information for young people about coronavirus and ideas for things to do while staying home on their website.
  • The Mix’s emotional support services are open as normal – and if you’re under 25 you can talk to them about anything that’s troubling you over the phone, email or webchat. You can also use their phone or online counselling service.
  • Helpline open daily 4-11pm: 0808 808 4994
  • Email service
  • Webchat open daily 4-11pm
  • Counselling service

childline

  • If you're under 19 you can confidentially call, email or chat online about any problem big or small
  • Freephone 24h helpline: 0800 1111

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger

  • Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis
  • If you need urgent help text YM to 85258
  • All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors
  • Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

 NHS mental health helpline

  • Find your local NHS urgent mental health helpline number here
  • England only
  • 24-hour advice and support
     
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