Cocooning ISL Video 03 – Looking after your mental health and staying connected

28th March 2020

How do you look after your mental well-being?

Social isolation, reduction in physical activity, unpredictability and changes in routine can all contribute to increasing stress. Many people including those without existing mental health needs may feel anxious about this impact, including support with daily living, ongoing care arrangements with health providers, support with medication and changes in their daily routines.

If you are receiving services for your mental health, learning disability or autism and are worried about the impact of isolation please contact your keyworker/care coordinator or provider to review your care plan. If you have additional needs please contact your key worker or care coordinator to develop a safety or contingency plan.
It is very easy to become anxious and lonely when you have to spend time on your own but remember, you can always pick up the phone and call a friend.

HSE advise that you can get more information at www.hse.ie and you have the option to contact the Samaritans by phoning 116 123.

At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help to stay mentally and physically active during this time such as:

• Although you have been asked to stay at home it is important you keep yourself mobile by getting up and moving around as much as possible. If you have a garden or backyard, go out and get some fresh air but please keep away from other people including neighbours. Keeping a distance of at least 1 metre but where possible 2 metres (or 6.5 feet) from other people is recommended.

• Try spending time with the windows open to let in the fresh air, arranging space to sit and see a nice view (if possible) and get some natural sunlight.

• Spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to favourite radio programmes or watching TV.

• Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise regularly, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs.

What steps can you take to stay connected with family and friends during this time?

Draw on support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time.

1. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone or online.

2. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling, if you want to.

Visit www.deaf.ie for more ISL support