Our Top Tips on COVID19 to protect your mental health

It’s all Covid19 this week which would nearly drive you to drink, particularly if anxiety is a problem. Listening to all the news would make anyone anxious. So here’s our top tips to maintain good mental health and avoid sliding into drinking too much to numb the fear.

1.Stick to reliable sources of information

There’s lot of misleading information around so stick to reliable sources only. Check out the HSE website or the World Health Organisation website  

2.Limit the time you spend listening or talking about Covid19

There’s wall to wall coverage and I find the more I listen to it, the more depressed I get. So I’m now restricting the amount of time, I spend on social media and feeling better all ready. Many mobile phones have a digital well-being feature where you can set a timer to limit how much time you spend on Facebook, Twitter etc. Don’t check social media before bedtime as you may find it harder to sleep.

3.Pay attention to your own needs and feelings

During times of stress, it’s really important to pay increased attention to our own needs and feelings. I’ve noticed I’m more anxious than normal. Given I’m in the high risk category and I help care for two elderly parents in poor health, I’ve had to accept this is okay. So I’ve started taking Bach’s Rescue Remedy.

For best results, take it within half an hour of a shock or bad news.

If you have an alcohol dependence, make sure to get the alcohol free version.

4. Take a walk in nature

There’s lot of research which shows walking in parks, forests or by the sea really improves our mental health. So going for a short walk in a green area every day will help. Just maintain a 6.5 ft distance (about the height of a tall man) from other people.

5. Stay Connected

Yes, we have to avoid crowded situations but staying in touch with people we like and love is very important. Phone calls are better than social media. Agree a rule that you will spend at least 50% of the time talking about happy stuff and not just about COVID19.

6. Reduce or stop drinking

There’s lots of evidence that alcohol increases the risk of chest infections. Professor Charles Parry states it can also increase the risk of damage from infections such as COVID-19. So yet another reason to manage your drinking. You can see the complete risks of drinking here.

You can find more tips on managing your mental health here.

This post was written by Carol

As some who gets hangovers lasting a week, Carol never drank too much - Once she got to a sensible age! However as a patient with an auto immune illness, since she was a teenager she has to drink very little. So she really understands how Irish society makes this very difficult. Carol is responsible for all aspects of Lifewise operations that Valerie and Angela do not cover.

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