Looking After Your Wellbeing
Considerations for our mental wellbeing during COVID-19 outbreak
It’s important that we look after our own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of others at all times. During an outbreak of disease like COVID-19 it’s inevitable that the need to look after our wellbeing is heightened – and we mustn’t forget that this involves our mental wellbeing. Outbreak of diseases and heightened media attention can cause stress, fear and anxiety amongst communities.
Based on information from WHO, we’ve put together advice on how to look after our own mental health wellbeing and support others too.
Looking after our own mental wellbeing during the outbreak:
Avoid or limit your exposure to news that might make you feel anxious or distressed about the situation. Remember that during an outbreak we have heightened media attention and social media platforms which isn’t always helpful for everyone. Establish the facts from rumour by using the WHO website and your local health authority platforms.
Protect yourself and be kind to yourself. Follow health authority advice and consider doing activities that you know are good for your own mental health wellbeing. Here are five actions that can improve our personal wellbeing: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/five-ways-to-mental-wellbeing
Connect with others. If you have self-isolated, or know someone who is, use digital platforms as a way to connect and try and stay in your daily routine as well as possible.
Exercise regularly, get good sleep and eat healthy food. All of these are proven to go a long way in helping our own wellbeing.
Looking after others mental wellbeing during the outbreak:
Advise people the factual platforms to gather information about COVD-19: WHO website. If someone seems distressed about the news, suggest that they limit the amount they access news and explain how media attention will be heightened during outbreaks – and that not all news is necessary factual. It is important that people seek the correct advice from official health authorities
Don’t label situations. Don’t associate COVID-19 to any nationality or ethnicity. Don’t label those who have had COVID-19 with words such as ‘victims’ and ‘diseased’. Be empathetic and supportive to others.
Use positive news stories where possible to give hope to those who have heightened fear about COVID-19
If you are caring for children there a few things to consider which may help their mental wellbeing. Give honest and appropriate information, including information on hygiene and be kind and use positive stories about Covid-19 if they are showing fear about the outbreak. Keep children as close to their family and caregivers as possible, if considered safe and healthy for the child. Maintain daily routines as well as possible and stay connected – use other ways of contact such as phoning, video calling or social media if you are unable to communicate in person due to self-isolation or feeling unwell.
Other useful resources:
More guidance on looking after our mental wellbeing: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_2
Latest information from WHO on where COVID-19 is spreading: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
Advice and guidance from WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 https://www.epi-win.com/
Since the beginning of the lockdown, Waypoint Training have been working with staff at Project 6 to help look after their wellbeing during the changes to ways of working that the lockdown has brought. The training team have been holding daily lunchtime ‘Caremongering’ sessions structured around the 5 ways to wellbeing. Waypoint have also been offering some of their own courses as free online sessions.
Here you will be able to find the some of the latest guided meditations and practices for you to use in your own time.
Circle of Breath
Sara led this for group. A really effective way to become aware of our own breathing.
Compassionate Body Scan
The Compassionate Body Scan, led by Jan, is there to help us learn to use are attention in different ways and also choose how we use that. She recommends trying this lying down but you could also be seated. If you notice your mind starting to wonder congratulate yourself for noticing and gently bring it back to the practice.
Jan (Waypoint Training) has been running a free online 8 week CBLC (Compassionate Based Living Course). Here is the practice from the taster session.
“We start each practice by setting an intention, setting our mind with what we intend. We reflect on our motivation, that’s part of setting our mind to the task, and we set our posture. You can sit on the ground, on a stool, on a chair, anyway really that’s comfortable for you. The idea is you have a tall straight back, creating a space for our breath to be as deep as possible.”
Project 6 is Still Here
Manja and Increased Drinking
Manja from our ARC team has been speaking on the radio about increased alcohol use during the Covid-19 outbreak and the potential impact this may have on society.
Vicki on the Project 6 Everest Challenge
When staff at Project 6 decided they wanted to do something together, they went big! 3 teams climbing to the height of Everest on their stairs at home. Listen to Vicki speaking to BBC Radio Leeds about the challenge and read more here.
Jess speaking about Fresh Start
Our Fresh Start service works with mothers who have had children taken into care. The service supports women to take time out from parenting in order to address their loss, build resilience, increase well-being and develop new skills for future living. Listen to Jess speak about the challenges they she and the women she works with are facing during lockdown.
Jo on BBC Radio Sheffield
Jo has been a really active member of the ARC community for 2 years now. Not only has she worked hard to overcome her own struggles, she now supports many others to see their own strengths. Listen to her ‘Lockdown Diary’ Featured on BBC Radio Sheffield
Messages of Support
Throughout the outbreak we have been receiving supportive messages and thank yous from members of the public. It’s really wonderful to hear the work we are doing is so appreciated, thank you.
“I am thinking of you all the time. I am concerned about the gentleman whose windows were boarded up, I hope this will go towards improving his conditions”
“Thank you and your staff for the wonderful work you are doing”
Oscar Humphries Campaign
We first worked with Oscar last year. He had decided to fund an art project working with people in recovery. Volunteer and Service Users worked with Artist Emilie Taylor on what became the ‘Manor Maker: Base Material’ project, culminating in a fantastic exhibition at the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield.
We were delighted when he got in touch in the midst of the Coronavirus chaos and offered to run a campaign to raise funds for us. He has been speaking to Vicki (Project 6, CEO) about what the impact the outbreak has had on the people who use our services and how we are adapting to meet need.
You can find out more about the campaign and offer your support here
A Lockdown Poem
Sent to one of our team whilst checking how in with people about how they were coping with the restrictions
Dr Kennedy’s Get-Down Lockdown Disco
Dr Kennedy’s Lockdown Disco, broadcasting, from his living room, raised an incredible £1200!
This money goes straight to helping ensure some of the most vulnerable people we work with are able to digitally connect to support throughout lockdown.
Read Vicki Beere’s (CEO Project 6) blog where she gives her take on the issues affecting the Substance Use field and Third Sector https://project6.org.uk/news/872-vicki-blog
Project 6 on the BBC
Look North came to visit and hear about our response to the outbreak. see the article accompanying the feature here,
(you can always switch the word ‘addict’ for ‘people’ as you read it)
Leroy on BBC Radio Sheffield
Listen to Leroy. one of our fantastic volunteers, speak to BBC Radio Sheffield about his experiences, the dangers of increased drinking and the support available.
Messages from the Public
“It must be so difficult for you to provide support, whilst simultaneously having to adhere to social distancing rules and I seriously admire all that you’re doing to ensure continuity of support for your clients. At 8pm Thursday night, I’ll be clapping on my doorstep for front line workers, and I’ll include you all in my applause and my thoughts. Keep up the good work and stay safe.”
Lockdown Disco for Project 6
We want to send a massive thank you to the good Doctor Brendan Kennedy who has a Lockdown Disco to raise money for Project 6 during the Coronavirus outbreak. Now is a really difficult time for lots of organisations but charities particularly feeling an impact with increased demand and uncertainty over the future. Events and donations like this can make a world difference and ensure we can carry on doing the work we’re going with some of society’s most vulnerable. Dance on doctor, dance on.
If you would like to donate to Doctor Kennedy’s appeal and make a difference, click here
Scott and Jo on BBC Radio Sheffield
Listen to Scott and Jo speak to Toby foster on BBC Radio Sheffield about dealing with social-distancing, recovery and using the telephone.