Minding your mental health while social distancing and self-isolating

It is very important that we look after our own mental health during what is a strange and strssful time. Here are some tips:-

 Self Care

  • Keep a healthy sleep routine– avoid sleeping for too long during the day. .
  • Pick an activity a day that makes you feel good – e.g. a long hot soak in the bath, putting feet up while reading a good book, skin care, gardening , a walk
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • If you smoke, access supports to help you quit at www.quit.ie/freephone 1800201203/freetext Quit to 50100
  • Remember to take medications on time
  • Practice proper hand- washing
  • Mindfulness – pay attention to the present and appreciate things as they are.
  • If you are attending a mental health service, contact your team if you need to.


  • Watch a good programme or documentary, browse the web
  • To relax – e.g. listen to music or watch music videos, relaxation CDs
  • To keep mind active – e.g. crosswords, puzzles
  • To connect with others – ring , text, email or Facetime family and friends or write a .
  • To be creative – e.g. sewing, art, drawing/ painting, knitting, crochet..
  • To keep fit – take a walk, garden, online exercise sessions, dance…

Daily Routine

  • Take the current situation one day at a time
  • Maintain and establish a good structure of your day
  • Get up and go to bed at your usual times
  • If you’re studying at home, maintain the same pattern as the usual college or university tasks
  • If you’re working from home, work during the same hours that you would usually.
  • Write up a timetable including self-care, productivity and/or leisure activities.
  • Wear day clothes to get you motivated for the day


  • Think about the roles you identify with – friend, family member, forum member
  • Try to maintain and enhance identified roles by keeping in touch
  • Online tools can help you stay in touch with friends and family – e.g. play a web-based board game, review a book you have read, Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have access to online resources, text, phone, send a letter
  • Try relating to people by phoning them and having a chat

The Environment

  • Get some fresh air while keeping social distance of 2m (6 feet) and staying within a 2km radius of your home
  • Look after your home environment – keep up with the household chores so that it is a good place to be
  • Open your curtains and let some light and fresh air into your home
  • If you have a garden think of things you could do there
  • If you don’t have a garden you could plant some seeds on a window sill
  • Keep contact information for your supports in a place you can find it easily – local community supports, family, friends, GP etc

Useful supports and information

HSE information about Covid19 https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

¨Virtual Activities: – A range of international top-class museums offer virtual tours of their collections, which may help pass a few hours: https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

¨Irish Film Festival London will host their St. Patrick’s Day film festival online, giving access to new Irish films for free. https://www.irishfilmfestivallondon.com/

¨Yoga Practice @ Home: – Down Dog has a range of apps to help people practice yoga in their own home environment (beginner -> advanced). Apps are all free to download until April 1st.  https://www.downdogapp.com/

¨General Resources: https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2020/0316/1123492-mental-health-tips-coronavirus/

¨Communication: – available to download for free at Google Play or Apple Store – SKYPE, WhatsApp, Viber, Facetime, Facebook Messenger

¨Mindfulness and Relaxation: http://www.beaumont.ie/marc

¨Leisure: YouTube – British Heart foundation 10 minute living room workouts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5YX5xg8Seg

¨Library online: https://www.librariesireland.ie/elibrary/emagazines

¨Aware’s Life Skills Online programme: https://www.aware.ie/education/life-skills-online-programme/ – Registration open.

¨Mood Tracking: – Daylio is a useful app where you can record your mood as well as what occupations you engaged in that day, allowing you to see links between your mood and activity levels: https://daylio.webflow.io/

Time Management: https://www.forestapp.cc/  and   https://pomodoro-tracker.com/

A list of free online services to get us through these difficult times is available at: https://covid19.shanehastings.eu/giveback/

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