Prioritising Mental Health Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak

As the situation stands, we are currently facing a full-scale, European-style lockdown. As most of us are glued to our screens with limited human contact, we have been bombarded with advice, thoughts and concerns, left, right and centre. As much as COVID-19 is a physical crisis and a great emphasis is being placed on keeping fit, the stress of the pandemic is taking a heavy toll on people’s mental health.  There are endless accounts online of how to cope in these times and being in the right state of mind to cope with what is happening is paramount. Here are some of our best tips to keep you sane and make sure you stay strong in these testing times.

Social Media

With the current restrictions in place, we are pushed even more towards social media, which can be both a blessing and a curse. As important as it is to keep in contact with each other and be up to date with current events, the negativity online can add to the stress of this outbreak. Everywhere you look there is talk of the virus and sometimes it is better to just switch off.

Be wary of any fake news and be sure to only use reputed sources when searching for information regarding the outbreak. Muting certain applications can help you from getting distracted, along with frequent breaks away from your screens. Remember that we are allowed outside once a day for exercise, so make the most of it! Leaving your devices at home and just having some time to decompress, breathe fresh air and stretch your legs can only be beneficial and give you a much-needed break.


Keeping in close contacts with friends, family and colleagues will be a key factor in pulling through this lockdown together. Many people will find a lack of physical human interaction quite lonely and isolating, especially when confined to the indoors. It is important not to isolate yourself, as it is not only crucial for your mental health but also for your safety.

This is the best we can do for now and interacting with people will give you a sense of normality about your day. If you fall ill and are alone, it is important to inform friends, loved ones or medical professionals. There are also a range of webinars, online debates, online courses, concert and quizzes to get involved with, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these.


One of the more common themes that have come out in recent weeks is the need to keep exercising even if confined to your home. As cliché as it has become, doing some sort of exercise has proven benefits with regards to maintaining and improving mental health. Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood.

Exercising regularly has been shown to reduce symptoms of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, and also helps with recovery from mental health issues. Exercise does not mean kitting your home out to resemble your local gym however, and simply using that time to go outside, walk your dog, or simply stretch your legs and do some sort of physical activity will have its benefits.

Seize the Opportunity

We are in the midst of an unprecedented situation which is sure to go down in history. There isn’t much we can do about it either, so it is vital to try and draw out as many positives from it as possible. This situation is far from easy, but you can make it easier for yourself by seizing the opportunity and using the ‘glass is half full’ mindset.

Our busy life schedules have been put on hold (for the most part) and we are now left with gaps of free time which we didn’t have access to before all this. This is the perfect opportunity to better yourself – Getting your house in order, taking up a new hobby or losing weight are just a few examples of how you can fill your time up and keep yourself mentally active. Reading, learning a new language or completing an online course could be a great way for you to come out of this situation a better person, so definitely leave your comfort zone and use this time to your advantage.

Online Resources

If you find yourself in a desperate situation or want more information or simply someone to share your feelings with, there is an abundance of online resources for everyone. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have their own advice for all walks of society, and there are many mental health charities such as Mind,, and others who are there to help, now more than ever!

There are also psychologists and therapists offering their services via video link for those having a hard time, so please don’t be afraid to reach out.

This outbreak is set to be one of the biggest tests in generations. This is why it is essential that we do everything we can to make sure we are in good condition both physically and mentally. Check up on each other and don’t be afraid to reach out, whether it is to a friend, colleague, or complete stranger. We are in this together and solidarity will be the shining light that helps us through these dark and uncertain times.