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Samaritan’s Tips To Coping with Mental Health During the Coronavirus

Did you know, every six seconds, the Samaritans answer a call for help? Day or night, they help those who are struggling to cope, and those who need someone to listen without judgment or pressure.

Why we’re Suppawting the Samaritans?

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, they are facing a very high number of callers from those who are depressed, facing anxieties and need support. Callers can continue to speak via phone or email but without the fund-raising events, they need to ensure they continue to have enough funds to reach and support the community through these unprecedented times. Whilst we are physically isolated, it’s more important than ever for us to feel socially connected.

To help and support our community, they’ve provided some tips to coping with mental health during the coronavirus. The advice may change significantly as the situation continues to develop please keep up to date with any relevant changes here.

It’s okay to feel this way.

Through this time of uncertainty, many of us are struggling to cope at one point or another. You’re not alone in feeling like this. Going through a range of emotions during this time is common. We all know that especially if you live alone, your dog can be a great source of comfort, but the frustrating thing is that they can’t talk back. If you do need to talk to someone, Contact Samaritans any time you like or alternatively chat to someone you trust like a family member, GP or counsellor.

These feelings may not last forever

Everybody feels low at some stage in their lives and we’re facing times unlike any other. If you struggle to cope, it can be hard to see beyond your current situation. Discussing how you feel will help put things in perspective and make you feel more optimistic about the future.

Identify trigger situations

There are all kinds of reasons why you would find it difficult to cope with mental health during the coronavirus. Perhaps that is because of a combination of issues:

  • financial worries
  • job-related stress
  • relationship and family problems
  • loss, including loss of a friend, family member through bereavement
  • college or study-related stress
  • worry about current events, such as the Coronavirus outbreak
  • loneliness and isolation, or struggling with self-isolation
  • depression
  • painful and/or disabling physical illness
  • heavy use of or dependency on alcohol or other drugs
  • thoughts of suicide.

How can you help yourself?

  • Make time for yourself, relax and do things you enjoy.
  • Spend time with people you love, if not face-to-face try Facetime, Skype or Whatsapp with a video call.
  • Spend some quality time with your pooch, perhaps learn some new tricks or find new walking routes for your daily exercise you can enjoy from your doorstep.
  • Eat healthily; try to get plenty of sleep and take some time to exercise
  • Be proud of what you’re good at, as well as aware of what you struggle with
  • Pay attention to what you’re feeling.

If you’ve stopped doing things that you normally do, if you’re tearful, not eating or sleeping well, drifting from those closest to you, taking alcohol or drugs to cope or hurting yourself, then talk to the Samaritans, or someone you trust.

Relaxation exercises

Controlled breathing

Controlled breathing is a useful tool for feeling calmer quickly and it can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This technique is easy to memorise and can be practiced almost anywhere. Practice this for as long as you need to feel the benefits.

  • Breathe in for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for four seconds
  • Breathe out for four seconds
  • Wait four seconds before repeating

Keep repeating this until you start to feel calmer. Look for both mental and physical signs, like your thoughts and your heartbeat slowing down.

You may already know what triggers your negative thoughts and feelings. If you do, try using this breathing technique if you know you will encounter a certain trigger, or immediately after.

Need Support? The Samaritans are here for you.

Whatever you’re going through, if you need support coping with mental health during the coronavirus call the Samaritans for free, any time, from any phone, on 116 123.

The Samaritans Need Support Too

To continue being there for us during our times of need Samaritans need donations and support. Donations will ensure that the helpline and service can still be there for others 24/7, 365 days a year for those who are in crisis during these unprecedented times. You can donate to the Samaritans here.


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