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Don’t forget to look after your own wellbeing

We are all adjusting to a new, strange way of life and that can have a negative effect on our mental wellbeing if we do not try to address those challenges.

During this time, you may be likely to feel increased anxiety, whether you are working from home, in the office or elsewhere.

It is crucial that we are all able to talk openly and honestly about our mental health and wellbeing, and that we have access to the right help and support when we need it.

Looking after our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

Here are some tips for maintaining health and wellbeing at this time:

  • Stay informed – Get timely, accurate and factual information about COVID-19 from a reliable source, no more than a couple of times a day.
  • If you are feeling stressed or anxious, consider how you feel when you have constant exposure to media coverage and graphic news stories. Although it is important to stay informed, take a break if you feel things are getting on top of you.

Look after your basic needs, whilst practising social distancing:

  • Maintain a normal routine where you can, even if you are working from home, when getting up, going to bed, meal times and exercise
  • Eat and drink regularly and healthily.
  • Take regular breaks during shifts and get fresh air when you can.
  • Create a consistent routine to allow enough time for  the sleep, rest and respite you need between shifts.
  • Ensuring your bedroom is quiet, dark and a relaxing environment to sleep in.
  • Try to stay as connected to your friends and family at this time as much as possible, whether by phone, social media or emails and letters
  • Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies that involve alcohol, tobacco or an unhealthy diet.

Look after each other:

  • Speak to colleagues and line managers and build this into your team’s daily routines. They may be feeling like you. It’s good to talk.  Connecting with others is a good buffer against stress and adversity.
  • Look out for and be kind to each other. This can have a profound impact on mental health and wellbeing.
  • Share small successes about what’s gone well inside and outside of work.
  • Be kind to each other. This can have a profound impact on staff wellbeing.

Make sure you give yourself space to process the events of the day and deal with your feelings.

In addition, this section of the NHS website can help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing while staying at home.

You can also visit the Council’s Occupational Health sharepoint site which has lots of tips and links to other sources of info and advice about mental and other health issues.

It is perfectly normal to feel worried during exceptional times such as these. However, if you are starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and speak to someone you trust, whether that’s a friend, a family member, or a colleague.

A helpline such Breathing Space (0800 83 85 87) may also help.

You may find the following websites of assistance:

NHS Inform

NHS Education for Scotland

Support in Mind Scotland

Breathing Space

Mental Health Foundation

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