Coronavirus: Five ways to look after your mental health

Post date: 
Monday, 23 March 2020

lots of different coloured paints and paint brushes

As the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) grows, many of us are finding that our lives and routines have changed dramatically.

With so much enforced isolation, it's easy to feel lonely, so we've listed our five top tips to maintaining your mental and physical health.

1. Start a new hobby

Time flies when you’re having fun, might be a cliché but why not try something new you’ll enjoy? You could get adventurous in the kitchen with new recipes, or if cooking is completely new for you, check out our information on what equipment and set-ups can make cooking easier for people with sight loss and our tips on fuss-free cooking when you’re blind or partially sighted.

Or you could try your hand at some arts and crafts... you may not realise it, but there are many talented artists out there who are blind or partially sighted - why not see if you have a hidden flare for arts and crafts? If you want to explore what’s out there, have a look at our arts and crafts information page.

Or even, challenge yourself to see how many books you can get through on our RNIB Library – if you sign-up to our digital service, you can have access to thousands of audiobooks just with the click of a button.

2. Keep active

It’s very easy if you’re self-isolating at home to find that the only activity you do is getting on and off the sofa, but staying active is incredibly important for both physical and mental health. If you’re confident enough in your surroundings and are happy you can keep a safe distance from others, try planning in a daily walk outside. Even 20 minutes can make the world of difference. Alternatively, Sport England has loads of guides and routines for exercise you can do at home.

3. Create routines

We are all creatures of habit, and we get great comfort from having a good routine – so, if you want to try and reclaim some sense of normality, set yourself a structured routine where you manage to fit all of these tips into your day.

4. Stay in touch

Whatever route you take, from regular phone calls with family, to creating WhatsApp groups for you and your neighbours, make sure you keep talking to people around you. It’s vital for your mental health that you make contact with others. So, get creative with staying connected: if you’d usually go for lunch with a friend on a Wednesday, set up a Skype date and have lunch together. Or, if the house is feeling a bit quiet, plan to Facetime a relative as you both cook your evening meal. You could even set up a new book club where you come together over Skype to talk all things Mr Darcy!

And don’t forget, you can tune in to RNIB Connect Radio on Freeview 730 to hear great content, stay connected to our community and find out what other people are doing in self-isolation.

5. Ask for help

During this time, your support network may not be able to offer the same kind of help you’re used to, but remember our Sight Loss Advice Service is still here. If you’re interested in joining a Talk and Support group, or need any other kind of advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Just call us on 0303 123 9999.

And, if there are simple things like needing help reading labels or instructions, why not download Be My Eyes? It’s an app which will pair you with a volunteer who can read or look at things for you through your smartphone.