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Looking after yourself during the coronavirus outbreak  

Coronavirus is a virus which causes a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. This illness is called COVID-19. The Government has issued guidance on how to reduce the risk of getting ill and spreading the virus. This means you may have to stay at home and avoid other people. 

It is understandable to feel worried or anxious at this unsettling time but there are things you can try that could help your wellbeing.

Keep taking your medication and access treatment where possible

  • You can still talk to us on our telephone support service Guide-Line, which is open between 12 noon and 12 midnight every day on 01274 594594.
  • We have doubled our 1:1 support sessions which are normally held at GP surgeries and these are currently offered over the phone. Our wellbeing staff are contacting existing wellbeing clients by phone.
  • If you feel you cannot keep yourself safe and need urgent mental health support, call First Response on 01274 221181. Our evening crisis service, The Sanctuary, is offering the same level of support by telephone.
  • For details and updates about other wellbeing services in the district go to www.healthyminds.services.
  • You may be able to order repeat prescriptions by phone or by using an app. Your pharmacy may also deliver or someone may be able to collect it for you.
  • Be careful about buying medication online. Only buy from registered pharmacies.

Eat well and stay hydrated

  • Eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar levels stable can help your mood and energy levels. Your appetite might change if you’re following a different routine or you are less active.
  • Drinking water is important for your mental and physical health so try to drink water regularly. Setting an alarm or using an app to remind you may help.
  • If you are self-isolating, you can ask someone to drop off food and other essential items for you. They can leave them on the doorstep to avoid face-to-face contact. 
  • You can find more tips on eating well at www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/food-and-mood/about-food-and-mood/

Create a comfortable environment and routine

  • You may find it helpful to keep you home clean and tidy, although this may not be the case for everyone. If you live with other people, try to decide how you are using different spaces so each person feels comfortable.  
  • Cleaning your house, doing laundry and washing yourself are important ways to help stop germs spreading. 
  • If you are feeling trapped or claustrophobic, open windows to let in fresh air or spend time on your doorstep or in the garden.
  • Plan how you will spend your time and try to keep to an ordinary routine as much as possible.
  • Find new ways to relax, be creative and keep your mind stimulated. You could try activities such as colouring, yoga, meditation, doing puzzles, reading or having a sort out at home. 

Keep active

  • You can leave the house for physical exercise such as going for a walk or run if you are not self-isolating on medical or age grounds.
  • Build physical activity into your daily routine by doing activities such as cleaning, going up and down stairs or dancing to music.
  • Get sunlight, nature and fresh air. These can benefit your mental and physical wellbeing. Try opening windows, listening to natural sounds such as birdsong and having a plant in your home.  

Reduce anxiety

  • Try writing down how you feel, practicing mindfulness or talk through your worries with us or someone you trust. Breathing exercises may also help. 
  • If you are finding it hard to hear advice health and hygiene advice such as washing your hands, you can speak to our Guide-Line team on 01274 594594. 
  • Be careful where you get news and health information from. Up-to-date advice can be found on the NHS website. If the news makes you feel anxious or confused, think about switching it off or limiting what you look at for a while. 
  • If you have panic attacks or flashbacks, it might help to plan a ‘safe space’ in your home that you can go to.
  • Connect with friends and family by phone, video calls or social media. Consider putting up more photos of people you care about. 
  • Listen to a chatty radio station. 
  • Join a peer support community such as Mind’s Elefriends where you can share your experiences and hear from others. 

There is more wellbeing advice at www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/.

You may also find the following information and links helpful:

NHS advice

Government advice

Local authority

Bradford Council

Craven District Council

North Yorkshire Council

Leeds City Council

Travel

  • Only essential travel is permitted and many public transport services are running on a reduced timetable. For the latest bus and train info, go to www.wymetro.com/
  • Driving hasn’t been banned but restrictions are in place. More information at www.which.co.uk/news/2020/03/can-i-drive-during-the-coronavirus-lockdown/.
  • If your MOT runs out after 30 March 2020, your MOT automatically qualifies for a six month extension from the date it becomes due.

Shopping

  • Online: try to plan ahead so you don’t run out of food. Booking an online delivery shop is increasingly difficult. Some clients have reported that more slots are available to book if you log on between 4-6am.
  • Morrison’s offer a vegetarian or meat-eater box for £35 which should last two adults one week. Place an order before 3pm for next day delivery: www.morrisons.com/food-boxes/boxes.
  • Some supermarkets like Iceland and Sainsbury’s are prioritising vulnerable customers. Calling the supermarket to explain your circumstances may help you.
  • In store: stores are asking customers to leave at least a two-metre distance where possible from others and some offer to clean handles on trolleys and baskets. You may have to queue outside of the shop before you go in and some items such as toilet rolls are limited.
  • Info on consumer rights can be found at: www.which.co.uk/news/2020/03/what-does-coronavirus-mean-for-your-shopping-deliveries-and-consumer-rights/

Money

Support organisations

  • If you are in an abusive relationship or environment, please seek help. During the restrictions, you are allowed to leave home to seek refuge. If you are in immediate danger, call 999. If you can’t speak, dial 999 and then press 55 to notify your local police force without having to talk.
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24/7) www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/
  • National Centre for Domestic Violence: 0800 970 2070 www.ncdv.org.uk/
  • Stop Hate UK advice for those experiencing discrimination: www.stophateuk.org/

Home learning

Mind in Bradford is not responsible for, nor accepts, any liability for features of the above third-party resources, including content, performance, accuracy, security, privacy or availability. Always check terms and conditions of websites and apps before downloading.

Go to our recommended resources page for more suggestions on self-help reading, apps and websites.

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