for better mental health

Coronavirus and your wellbeing

This page is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

You may be worried about coronavirus (Covid-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include having to spend a lot of time at home. Or you may have concerns about being around other people.

This may feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try to help your wellbeing. 

This information is to help you cope if:

  • you're feeling anxious or worried about coronavirus
  • you’re following government advice to keep a safe distance from others (known as social distancing)
  • you're self-isolating because you, or someone you've been in contact with, has symptoms of coronavirus. Self-isolating means that you stay home and keep away from other people, to avoid spreading coronavirus.

It covers:

You can also visit these pages for the latest government coronavirus rules where you live:

Under 18? We're here for you too.

Go to our hub of coronavirus content for young people.

Taking care of your mental wellbeing

Many of us are struggling with maintaining our mental wellbeing during coronavirus. These are some ideas which may help:

Keep in touch digitally

  • If you can’t meet up with people or groups you’d like to see in person, make plans to video chat instead. You can also arrange phone calls or send instant messages or texts.
  • If you don’t feel very confident making video calls, Age UK has a guide to using video calls which may help.
  • If you're worried that you might run out of things to talk about, make a plan with someone to watch a TV show, live music or theatre together. Or you could take part in a quiz, or read a book separately and then discuss it with each other when you speak.
  • If you're feeling anxious about coronavirus, you may find it helpful to talk about these worries with someone you trust. This can be especially helpful if they are in a similar situation and share your worries. 
  • You could join a peer support community. Mind runs an online peer support community where you can share your experiences and hear from others.
  • If you're going online more than usual or seeking peer support on the internet, it's important to look after your online wellbeing. See our pages about online mental health for more information.
  • If you prefer not to use a phone or computer, you could try writing letters or postcards.

Safely meet with others

If you're worried about loneliness

  • Think about things you can do to feel close to people. For example, putting extra pictures up of the people you care about might be a nice reminder of the people in your life.
  • Listen to a chatty radio station or podcast if your home feels too quiet.
  • Think about your diet. This may have been affected by changes to your routine, or if you've been less active than usual. If possible, try to eat regular meals and keep a balanced diet, as this can help your mood and energy levels. See our tips on food and mood for more information.
  • If you have a difficult relationship with food and eating, our pages on eating problems have information and tips which may help.
  • Drink water regularly. Drinking enough water is important for your health. Changing your routine might affect when you drink or what fluids you drink. It could help to set an alarm or use an app to remind you. The NHS has information about water, drinks and your health.
  • If you’re self-isolating, you can ask someone to drop off essential food items for you. If they do this, ask them to leave food at your doorstep, to avoid face-to-face contact with each other.
  • You may feel anxious about going to the supermarket. For example, you might be worried about wearing a face mask or being around strangers. It might help to try some of our self-care tips for anxiety. Our information on mask anxiety, face coverings and mental health may also help.

Build physical activity into your daily routine, if possible. There are options for most ages and abilities. This includes things you can try indoors, if you're spending lots of time at home. For example:

  • cleaning your home 
  • dancing to music
  • going up and down stairs
  • seated exercises
  • online exercise workouts that you can follow
  • sitting less – if you notice you've been sitting down for an hour, just getting up or changing position can help.

Bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, and make you feel more relaxed.

If you're spending a lot of time at home, you could try the following ideas. These can help you get the positive effects of nature while staying indoors:

  • Spend time with the windows open to let in fresh air. 
  • Arrange a comfortable space to sit, for example by a window where you can look out over a view of trees or the sky, or watch birds and other animals.
  • Look at photos of your favourite places in nature. Use them as the background on your mobile phone or computer screen, or print and put them up on your walls.
  • Listen to natural sounds, like recordings or apps that play birdsong, ocean waves or rainfall. Get as much natural light as you can. Spend time in your garden if you have one, or open your front or back door and sit on the doorstep.
  • If you have access to green space like a garden, you could bring some natural materials in to decorate your living space, or use them in art projects. This could include leaves, flowers, feathers, tree bark or seeds.
  • You may be able to buy seeds, flowers or plants online for delivery, to grow and keep indoors. If you order items for delivery, ask to have them left at your doorstep, to avoid face-to-face contact.

See our pages on nature and mental health for more information about the benefits of spending time in nature.

Stay connected with current events, but take care with where you find your news and health information. Try to use trusted sources to find reliable updates.

Useful pages

Managing your wellbeing

  • If news stories make you feel anxious or confused, think about switching off or limiting what you look at for a while.
  • Social media could help you stay in touch with people but might also make you feel anxious. This may include people sharing news stories that you want to avoid, or posting their worries about coronavirus. Consider taking a break or limiting how you use social media. You might decide to view particular groups or pages but not scroll through timelines or newsfeeds.
  • See our pages about online mental health for more information. 

Our page on coping with mental health problems during coronavirus includes information about living with anxiety during the pandemic, and tips on how to yourself cope.

  • Open the windows to let in fresh air. Or you could spend time sitting on your doorstep, or in the garden if you have one.
  • Try looking at the sky out of the window or from your doorstep. This can help to give you a sense of space.
  • Regularly change the rooms you spend time in.

Spending time at home

It may feel difficult to keep occupied and fill your days if you are spending a lot more time at home than you used to. These are some ideas for adding structure to your days, taking care of your environment and making the most of your free time:

  • Plan a routine for your time, and try to follow it as much as possible. It might help to write this down on paper and put it on the wall. If you're working, your plan can include how you’ll spend your free time as well as working hours.
  • If you can, try to wake up and go to bed at regular times each day. See our information on sleep problems for more tips to improve your sleep. 
  • You could take the chance to try out a new routine. For example, you could go to bed earlier than you used to, spend more time cooking, or do other things you didn’t used to have time for.
  • If you live with other people, it might help to create a household routine, especially if several of you will be at home most of the time. But try to also respect each other's privacy and give each other space. Some people might want to discuss everything they're doing while others won't.
  • If you're working from home, you may find it helpful to read these tips from Mind staff on home working

Read Rhiannon's story about coronavirus anxiety and how to get a good night's sleep. 

  • If you are spending a lot of time at home, you may find it helpful to keep things clean and tidy. But this can be different for different people.
  • If you live with other people, keeping things tidy might feel more important if you're spending more time at home together. But you might have different ideas about what counts as 'tidy' or how much it matters. It may help to decide together how you'll use different spaces. And you could discuss what each person needs to feel comfortable.
  • Cleaning your house, doing laundry and washing yourself are important ways to help stop germs spreading. The NHS has advice about how to stop germs from spreading, and the UK Government has advice about self-isolation which includes information about household cleaning.
  • Your energy costs will probably rise if you're at home more than you usually would be. Think about how you can manage your energy use, or how to cover any higher bills. You could also ask your energy provider about any support they offer, for example if you can sign up to their priority services register. If you're worried about money, our page of useful contacts for money has details of organisations who may be able to help. 
  • Spending more time indoors could also make any existing housing problems feel worse. This may include your relationships with anyone you live with. See our page of coronavirus useful contacts to find organisations which may be able to help, or see our page on housing and mental health for more information.
  • Try having a clear out. You could sort through your possessions and put them away tidily, or have a spring clean.
  • You could also have a digital clear out. Delete any old files and apps you don't use, upgrade your software, update all your passwords or clear out your inboxes.
  • Write letters or emails, or make phone or video calls with people you've been meaning to catch up with.

There are lots of different ways that you can relax, take notice of the present moment and use your creative side. These include:

  • arts and crafts, such as drawing, painting, collage, sewing, craft kits or upcycling
  • DIY
  • colouring
  • mindfulness 
  • playing musical instruments, singing or listening to music
  • writing
  • yoga
  • meditation.

See our pages on relaxation and mindfulness for more information and ideas.

"To keep myself well, I exercise at home, listen to calming music, dance to upbeat music and also use the time to text people."

  • Keep your brain occupied and challenged. Set aside time in your routine for this. You could read books, magazines and articles. Or you could listen to podcasts, watch films or do puzzles.
  • If you can't visit your local library, some libraries have apps you can use online. These allow you to borrow ebooks, audiobooks or magazines from home for free, if you're a library member.
  • FutureLearn and OpenLearn have free online courses you could try.
  • There are lots of apps that can help you learn things, such as a foreign language or other new skills.

Further advice and support

We have lots more pages of advice and support for your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, which are all available from our coronavirus hub.

You may find these pages especially helpful: 

You can also see our coronavirus useful contacts for links to government and NHS coronavirus guidance, other helpful organisations and different ways to get support during coronavirus.

This information was last updated on 2 September 2020. The content reflects the best advice we have at this time. We will update it as necessary, particularly if there are changes to public health guidance.

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