Maintaining your mental well-being while staying home
It’s enough to drive anyone radge: an invisible threat, the world economy shutting down, banks printing funny money like it’s going out of fashion (artist’s impression here), world governments in unison confining innocent people to their homes, new police powers to fine you for going for a stroll, parliament passing a 2-year emergency bill over a seasonal flu, no socialising allowed, and nary enough toilet paper to go round.
First off, let’s see if we can reason together and put this all in perspective. The news is going bonkers with Corona-hype, but is this really a plague of epic proportions that warrants the end of freedom as we know it?
The below video is from an American perspective, but also covers data for Italy (one of the worst hit countries) and China (where the virus allegedly, er…nevermind).
He rounds up mainstream news sources going back several years, World Health Organisation numbers, and ends with a message for your soul.
Help with staying sane
• Get involved with volunteering: Join the County Durham Mutual Aid group on Facebook.
• Turn off the news: there’s nothing there to make you feel better and plenty to scare you. What good does it really do to know how many people you’ll never meet are sick today?
• Be alone together: maintain your social life with as much interaction as possible, i.e. send longer emails rather than texts, make video calls, and spend less time scrolling endlessly on anti-social media. Avoid snooping eyes with secure services like proton mail, or signal messenger for texts and calls / video chat.
• Look after yourself: keep regular sleep hours, exercise in your cell, I mean, at home, and eat healthy food.
• Face your addictions: If you are hooked on drink, drugs, computer games, social media (yes, ladies, we mean you) or other ‘unhealthy online activities’ that are currently being promoted (yes, lads, we mean you), take this opportunity to begin the healing process. Talk to people about your problems and get help.
• Find something productive to do: Read a book, learn a language, take a free online course, do the best spring cleaning of your life, learn to play guitar, sort out the garden.
• Learn to communicate better: If you are bickering with people at home while cooped up, this is a perfect time to get together and have a look at Non-Violent Communication (NVC).
The Council is advising all residents to follow guidance from the government on staying at home and to only go outside for food, health reasons, or work, assuming you can’t work from home.
Amanda Healy, the council’s director of public health, said: “We fully appreciate that these are really difficult times for everybody and that being asked to stay at home is a massive ask.
It is inevitable that when staying indoors people will feel bored, frustrated or lonely. They may also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about their finances, health or those close to them.
We would encourage everyone to seek support if they need it.”
Further information on ways to manage mental well-being is available on the council’s website at www.durham.gov.uk/article/22992/Look-after-yourself
The council has released details of how it services are changing amid the pandemic.
• The Employability Durham team has stopped face-to-face meetings with residents but is continuing to offer support via phone, text, e-mail and social media. As of today it is offering new support in maths and English, job applications, coaching for confidence and short sessions dealing with stress, anxiety and isolation. People are advised to email in the first instance at: firstname.lastname@example.org
• The Housing Solutions team has stopped face-to-face meetings with residents but is continuing to offer support via phone and email. It is however continuing to send out officers to establish who is rough sleeping, and visiting known rough sleepers to check their welfare, support them into accommodation and advise what they should do if they are displaying Coronavirus symptoms.
• The Gypsy Roma and Traveller service has stopped all non-essential face-to-face contact and moved to only digital and telephone communication where possible. The service will continue to charge rent but will not be evicting anyone in arrears during the pandemic.
• The council is also reminding people that it has suspended parking charges in all its car parks, both on and off-street, to help key workers.
Cover Photo by Ben White