Counsellor and director of local organisation Youth In Transition, Tina Jones, has advice to help build mental and emotional resilience:
The re-emergence of Covid-19 has evoked varying reactions and emotions in us all.
Harold Wilson said: ‘Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because the challenge exists to make things better.’
Try to focus on the good in your life, encouraging positive thoughts to crowd out the negative. You can take back control through simple actions such as focusing on the things you are grateful for.
Keep to daily routines: sticking with familiar mealtimes, bedtimes, exercise regimes and work schedules provides a sense of achievement, helps keep our brain focused and prevents us from feeling more anxious.
Think about what makes you smile and fills your heart with joy. It could be physical exercise, listening to music, watching Netflix, chatting on the phone, crafting or gardening – whatever it is, try to do a little every day. Or try a new activity such as cooking or learning a language online.
Accept the changing situation and the new ways of doing things: worrying about things we have no control over can create frustration and anxiety. We can address this by changing how we respond to the situation – by accepting that there are things we cannot control, and refocusing our time and energy on what we can control.
Help yourself by helping others: being able to give as well as receive is hugely important. Reach out to a vulnerable neighbour, colleague or friend, ask how they are coping, offer to take a meal over, or set up a time to have a face-to face chat online. The people around you will appreciate these small gestures, and they will make you feel good too.
Be kind to yourself and others: a little kindness goes a long way in these exceptional times. Be patient, compassionate, remain hopeful and look after yourselves and each other.
Find the right people to connect with and talk to: Strong and supportive relationships are essential and we are fortunate to have access to technology to help us stay connected with friends and family. If you want to talk to someone outside your circle, there are helplines such as 1737, to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For advice on physical wellbeing during the pandemic, see the Health feature in the next issue, out September 16.