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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 08001 884 884.
  • 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 221 181. 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

Face Coverings

Unless you are exempt, it is now a legal requirement to wear a face covering in the following settings:

  • Public transport
  • Indoor transport hubs (i.e. train and bus stations)
  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Indoor shopping centres
  • Banks, building societies, and post offices 
  • Funeral directors
  • Premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Bingo halls
  • Concert halls
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
  • Nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments 
  • Massage parlours
  • Public areas in hotels and hostels
  • Places of worship
  • Libraries and public reading rooms
  • Community centres
  • Social clubs
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities such as laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites)
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Veterinary services
  • Auction houses

You are also strongly advised to wear coverings in places where social distancing can’t be maintained and where you come into contact with people you ordinarily wouldn’t.

Examples of places where you are not legally required to wear a face covering include:

  • Hospitality settings (i.e. restaurants with table service, bars, pubs)
  • Outdoor visitor attractions (in outdoor areas)
  • Exercise venues

Some people are exempt from wearing a covering; such as:

  • Young children under the age of 11 (it is also advised that children under 3 do not wear them)
  • Those unable to put on, wear, or remove a covering because of a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability
  • If you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who requires lip reading to communicate
  • If doing so would cause harm, or risk of harm, to yourself or others

And in these circumstances you may remove your covering:

  • To eat or drink if reasonably necessary
  • To take medication
  • If a police officer or other official requests you to remove your covering
  • If asked to do so in a bank, building society, or post office for identification
  • If asked to do so by shop staff or relevant employees for identification, the purpose of assessing health recommendations, such as a pharmacist, or for age identification purposes including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
  • If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication

Exemption card:

Some people may ask why you are not wearing a face covering; if this happens, you may feel more comfortable being able to show them a card which says that you are exempt rather than having to explain it. To help with this, the government has created a free card/badge template which you can keep on your phone and print off. 

Where can I get a face covering?

Face coverings are available online and in most supermarkets and are sold as reusable (you can wash and reuse it multiple times) or disposable (throw away after one use). You can also make your own at home.

How should I use a face covering?

A face covering should:

  • Cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • Fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
  • Be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
  • Be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
  • Ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
  • Unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
  • Avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • Avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • Change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • Avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)

When removing a face covering:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
  • Only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • Do not give it to someone else to use
  • If single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
  • If reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed

FAQs:

Isn’t this just a con to try and control people?

There are lots of conspiracy theories out there at the moment. Wearing a face covering will help reduce COVID19 transmission and is a legal requirement in certain settings for those who are not exempt.

Will wearing a face covering completely protect me from COVID19?

No. It will help reduce your chance of catching and spreading COVID19, however it doesn’t guarantee absolute safety. It’s important to continue to keep up good hygiene (washing hands regularly/use hand sanitiser with a 70% alcohol content) and social distancing where possible.

My glasses steam up when I wear one. What can I do?

Fill a bowl with water and some washing up liquid; dip your glasses in the water, pull them out and allow them to air dry; this will help leave a fog resistance film across the lenses. You can also try move your face covering further up so that your glasses touch the top of it and pull it closer to your skin; this will reduce the amount of moisture reaching the glasses. It also helps to make the mask fit as snugly as possible; if you have elastic straps on your covering, twist them into an X so that it is tighter and moisture is less likely to reach your glasses. You can also try breathe downwards.

For full details about the rules around face coverings, head here

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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