Do you need urgent help?

If you need to speak to someone right now, here are some confidential options which provide 24/7 support.  If you're worried you might hurt yourself or someone else, please call 999, or go to your nearest A and E.

Lifeline

For people who are experiencing distress or despair.

0808 808 8000

Childline

Helps anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night.

0800 1111

Samaritans

24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You don't have to be suicidal to call us

Linked-In: Keeping well during coronavirus

Tips and help for staying well during coronavirus.

How can the Linked-In Project support you?

We are all faced with such uncertain times and we do not know how long these changes to our lives will be in place. For us, your health and safety (as well as our own) is the most important thing. We are still here for you and will continue to support you as best we can, while sticking to the rules and advice from the government. This means we have to avoid face-to-face contact except in the case of an emergency. For now, we will be moving to phone and online support and we are working hard to find what works best for you to continue supporting you.

Below are some things we think can help keep you well right now. 

Plan a daily routine

If self-isolating or social distancing it is important to look after your mental health.

We recommend a daily routine normally and find that it is more important for your mental health during the outbreak.

  • Firstly be proactive

Recognise any disruption to your normal routine and any pressure this may cause

Write down how you can spend your day. Creating and sticking to a new routine will give you a sense of order and normality. Decide on your new routine, prioritise looking after yourself and make sure you build in time to do things you enjoy4.

Example of a daily routine

Here’s a simple example of a daily routine4.

10am Wake up

10.15 Make the bed

10.30 Have breakfast

11.00 Have a shower

11.30 Get ready

12.00 Work/Tech/School work/Pick up prescription.

14.00 Activity 

17.00 Dinner

18.00 Tidy up

19.00 Exercise

20.00 Read a book or watch TV

21.00 Bed

Stay Connected

Whether it's a text, video chat, social media or phone, just staying connected keeps us centred with the family, friends and support networks like your Linked-In officer. It is good to share how you feel. Just remember to manage your screen time if you are staying connected on the internet or social platforms. This includes managing how you keep up to date with Coronavirus and it may mean to build a healthy habit to limit your news and media intake of all of the coverage. 5.

You might find our page on where to find support online and on the phone helpful. 

Stay healthy and active

Staying at home is unusual for all of us and sometimes is stressful. The daily routine & staying connected should support you however its important to remember to be active to maintain your immune system. It is good to drink plenty of water and stick to regular healthy meals, try to avoid snacking7. Daily exercise will help regularize sleep patterns all of which boosts psychological health6.

4There are a lot of different activities you can do in the house and add to your daily routine again it is important to do things you enjoy, some examples include: 

  • Working out at home
  • Eating well: Baking/cooking new foods
  • Downloading podcasts
  • Watching box sets Netflix
  • Doing arts and crafts/drawing
  • Knitting
  • Trying meditation
  • Learning a new hobby
  • FaceTime family/friends
  • Cooking
  • Writing
  • Reading a book
  • Doing DIY
  • Gardening
  • Cleaning
  • Sorting out wardrobe
  • Playing games: board game or online
  • Online shopping
  • Walking (on your own or with someone that lives with you)
  • Hot bath

Staying active videos and links

Joe Wicks Workouts

Online pencil drawing

Six days of simple drawing - all you need is a pen and paper. 

Free online books

Click here to access free books online for all ages and interests. Or go to https://manybooks.net/  

Free simple recipes

Free simple cooking and baking recipes can be found on the BBC website. Visit  https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/easy

Free online games

You can play a big range of free games online here: https://www.arkadium.com/gb/free-online-games/

Coping Every Day

When staying at home it might help to think about:

  • What am I doing now?
  • What do I wish I was doing? 
  • What did I take for granted before isolation?
  • What's the first thing I'm going to do when isolation is over?

There are so many reasons to why it’s important to challenge yourself. First of all, you’ll discover that you are capable of things you didn’t think you were. You could gain so many skills that you didn’t know you had if you just gave yourself the chance. By challenging yourself, you’ll reach new goals you never would have previously thought you could reach. Things that never would have seemed possible for you could now be possible4.

Here is a coping calendar of things you can do each day to challenge yourself it can be as simple as getting out of bed and getting ready. If you want to download it and print it, you can download it here. 

Mindfulness

If you do all of the above and still are still feeling stressed or anxious you can try mindfulness, which includes breathing exercises and mediation. There are some links and tips below to get you started.

Try some meditation

Try a five minute breathing exercise

Mindfulness breathing

Make yourself comfortable...

  • Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
  • Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5. You may not be able to reach 5 at first.
  • Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again, if you find this helpful.
  • Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.

How to be more mindful

Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.7

Notice the everyday

"Even as we go about our daily lives, we can notice the sensations of things, the food we eat, the air moving past the body as we walk," says Professor Williams. "All this may sound very small, but it has huge power to interrupt the 'autopilot' mode we often engage day to day, and to give us new perspectives on life."7

Keep it regular

It can be helpful to pick a regular time – the morning journey to work or a walk at lunchtime – during which you decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you.7

Try something new

Trying new things, such as sitting in a different seat in meetings or going somewhere new for lunch, can also help you notice the world in a new way.7

Watch your thoughts

"Some people find it very difficult to practice mindfulness. As soon as they stop what they're doing, lots of thoughts and worries crowd in," says Professor Williams,It might be useful to remember that mindfulness isn't about making these thoughts go away, but rather about seeing them as mental events. Some people find that it is easier to cope with an over-busy mind if they are doing gentle yoga or walking.”7

Name thoughts and feelings

To develop an awareness of thoughts and feelings, some people find it helpful to silently name them: "Here's the thought that I might fail that exam". Or, "This is anxiety".7

Free yourself from the past and future

You can practise mindfulness anywhere, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that, for several minutes, you have been "trapped" in reliving past problems or "pre-living" future worries.7

Manage stress

Here are some tips on managing stress, adapted from the NHS website. 

Be active

Exercise won't make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you're feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you deal with your problems more calmly.

For more advice, read how being active helps mental wellbeing.

Take control

There's a solution to any problem. "If you remain passive, thinking, 'I can't do anything about my problem', your stress will get worse," says Professor Cooper.

"That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing."

The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it's a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.

Connect with people

A good support network can ease your troubles and help you see things in a different way.

"If you don't connect with people, you won't have support to turn to when you need help," says Professor Cooper.

The activities we do with friends help us relax. We often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever.

"Talking things through with a friend will also help you find solutions to your problems," says Professor Cooper.

And remember that the Linked-In team are always here to support you too. 

Have some 'me time'

"We all need to take some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise," says Professor Cooper.

He recommends setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality "me time". 

Challenge yourself

Setting yourself goals and challenges, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps build confidence. This will help you deal with stress.

"By continuing to learn, you become more emotionally resilient as a person," says Professor Cooper.

"It arms you with knowledge and makes you want to do things rather than be passive, such as watching TV all the time."

Avoid unhealthy habits

Don't rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping.

"Men more than women are likely to do this. We call this avoidance behaviour," says Professor Cooper. "Women are better at seeking support from their social circle."

In the long term, these crutches won't solve your problems. They'll just create new ones.

"It's like putting your head in the sand," says Professor Cooper. "It might provide temporary relief, but it won't make the problems disappear. You need to tackle the cause of your stress."

Help other people

Professor Cooper says evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient.

"Helping people who are often in situations worse than yours will help you put your problems into perspective," says Professor Cooper. "The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel."

If you don't have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day.

Work smarter, not harder

"Leave the least important tasks to last and accept that you will always have things to do at the end of every day.

Try to be positive

Look for the positives in life, and things for which you're grateful.

Try writing down 3 things that went well, or for which you're grateful, at the end of every day.

Accept the things you can't change

Changing a difficult situation isn't always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.

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