Lots of us continue to face personal challenges at this time and we’re here to help where we can, after all, we’re all in this together. Recently our Wellbeing Team hosted a live Q&A session on our Twitter and Instagram pages, inviting you to put your questions to them on anxiety, social isolation and mental health. Don’t worry if you missed the session because we’ve rounded up some of the questions and answers below.
What are the signs of anxiety or stress we should watch out for amongst our family and friends?
Anxiety can present itself in many ways. Look out for irritability, avoidance in engaging in conversations and changes to sleeping patterns and eating habits.
Remember, feeling anxious at a time of uncertainty is a normal reaction and asking for support is key. Staying connected, either by talking on the phone, through messaging or on social media can play a big part in helping to reduce feelings of worry too. Mindfulness is also great tool to help bring anxiety levels down.
Are there any good apps that help manage anxiety, especially during lockdown?
Headspace is a great mindfulness app that can help with anxiety. The NHS app Every Mind Matters is a brilliant resource too.
Big White Wall is also a really good 24/7 online resource for mental health support.
Every Mind Matters: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
Big White Wall: https://www.bigwhitewall.com/
What other resources would you recommend to help distract or occupy myself during this time?
Think of things that you enjoy doing, perhaps a new hobby or one you used to do. Try to balance screen time with hands-on activities. Staying home gives an opportunity to explore new hobbies and interests that maybe you have never tried before. But keep it simple.
What is your advice to people who might be feeling restless while self-isolating?
If you are feeling restless, find an activity you like to focus on and that helps to create some positive energy. This can help you to feel better and use up some of your feelings of restlessness.
How can we support family members who might be suffering?
Stay in touch with loved ones remotely if they are not sharing a home with you and offer positive encouragement and support. It will help them and help you. If you feel they need professional help then get them to call their GP for advice.
If you and your loved ones are living together, take the time to listen to any worries or difficulties. This is the time more than ever that we need to look out for each other physically and mentally.
Never be afraid to ask for help if you or someone you love needs it.
Finally, what support are you providing to those who need it during this time?
We are continuing to provide one-to-one psychological support via the telephone and video calls, as well as welfare, clinical and individual grants support. We want to continue to support our beneficiaries in the way they need us most at the moment.
We are working on making more advice and self-help information accessible online to our beneficiaries so we can continue to support them in their recovery journeys as best we can, given current limitations.
If you or a loved one are in need of support, get in touch.