COVID-19 Home Isolation – Mental Well-being
To support mental well-being during home isolation, the World Health Organisation has put out key messages for different target groups.
For the general population:
- Minimise watching, reading or listening to news about COVID-19 continuously; this is likely to cause more anxiety and distress. Ensure to seek information only from trusted sources such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), Public Health England (PHE) and your local health authority to guide your actions in protecting yourself and your loved ones.
- Try and support others as best as you can too- check on neighbours or people in your community who may need some extra assistance by telephone or social media outlets such as Facebook, FaceTime, WhatsApp etc.
- Look for opportunities to amplify positive stories and images of local people who have experienced COVID-19. This can include stories of people who have recovered or who have supported a loved one and are willing to share their experience.
- Acknowledge and support carers, healthcare workers and all those working for the community.
For older adults, people with underlying health conditions and their carers:
- Older adults and those with cognitive decline/dementia, may become more anxious, angry, stressed, agitated and withdrawn during the outbreak or while in isolation. They would benefit from practical and emotional support provided by both family members and health professionals.
- Share simple facts about what is going on in a concise, respectful and patient manner, giving clear information about how to reduce risk of infection and prevent infection in a manner that can be understood. Repeat the information whenever necessary. Use writing or pictures as warranted. Family members and other support networks have a key role in this process.
- Make sure that people with an underlying health condition have adequate amounts of all their regular medicines and activate their social contacts to provide assistance, if needed.
- Be prepared about accessing practical help if needed (e.g. having food delivered, requesting medical care etc.).
- Try and learn simple daily physical exercises to perform at home, in quarantine or isolation to maintain mobility and reduce boredom.
- Keep regular routines and schedules when possible; create new ones to adapt to the current situation of isolation. Include regular exercising, cleaning, daily chores, singing, painting or learn a new activity. Make sure to keep in regular contact with loved ones (e.g. via telephone, e-mail, social media or video conference).
- It is important to pay attention to individual needs and feelings during this stressful time. Make sure to engage in activities that are enjoyable and relaxing; eat a well-balanced diet, keep hydrated and maintain a regular sleep routine.
Children and young people respond to stress in different ways. Common signs manifested may be emotional (e.g. upset, distressed, anxious, angry or agitated), behavioural (clingier or withdrawn, they may wet the bed), or physical (e.g. they may experience stomach aches). Anxiety may be relieved if children and young people are able to express and communicate their feelings in a safe and supportive environment; many may communicate differently to their peers and rely on their care giver to interpret their feelings.
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