World mental health day

October 10, 2020
Nutan Ramdihol

The new realities of working from home and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues take time to get used to. Adapting to lifestyle changes such as these and managing the fear of contracting the virus and worry about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us. They can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions.

Luckily, there are lots of things that we can do to look after our own mental health and to help others who may need some extra support and care. Here are tips and advice that we hope you will find useful.

1.     Keep informed. Listen to advice and recommendations from your national and local authorities. Follow trusted news channels, such as local and national TV and radio, and keep up to date with the latest news from @WHO on social media.

2.     Have a routine. Keep up with daily routines as far as possible or make new ones.

  • Get up and go to bed at similar times every day.
  • Keep up with personal hygiene.
  • Eat healthy meals at regular times.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Allocate time for working and time for resting.
  • Make time for doing things you enjoy.

3.     Minimize newsfeed. Try to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information at specific times of the day, once or twice a day if needed.

4.     Social contact is important. If your movements are restricted, keep in regular contact with people close to you by telephone and online channels.

5.     Help others. If you are able to, offer support to people in your community who may need it, such as helping them with food shopping.

6.     Don’t discriminate. Fear is a normal reaction in situations of uncertainty. But sometimes fear is expressed in ways which are hurtful to other people. Remember:  

  • Be kind. Don’t discriminate against people because of your fears of the spread of COVID-19.
  • Don’t discriminate against people who you think may have coronavirus.
  • Don’t discriminate against health workers. Health workers deserve our respect and gratitude.
  • COVID-19 has affected people from many countries. Don’t attribute it to any specific group.

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