How coronavirus might be affecting your mental health

shutterstock_1221514963 (cropped)
12-05-2020

The world feels very different than it did just a few weeks ago.

People’s work lives may well have changed significantly, either working from home or perhaps even not working at all. Those with children are probably trying to supervise school lessons, or empty nesters have had older children return home because of university closures.

As if all that’s not enough to contend with, it’s quite natural to be feeling anxious around the virus itself, worried for friends and family, and loved ones who are at high risk. The 24-hour news culture and social media also means we’re never really that far removed from the latest statistics or scary headline.

Many people are also feeling anxious about the future, maybe feeling insecure or worried about money.

So how will this all impact our mental health?  Living and learning how to manage all of the above, on top of any everyday issues that we all had before Covid-19, is a huge adjustment, and it feels like there has been very little time to process all this change because it’s happened so quickly.

The truth is that how this situation impacts on each of us will be unique. In the short term, some people will be struggling with physical and social isolation. Or maybe, at the opposite end of the spectrum, it feels overwhelming to have the whole family at home with nowhere to ‘escape’ to, especially with the closure of gyms, pubs and restaurants.

Parents will have additional pressures of trying to support children through enforced isolation too as they are separated from school, friends and social and sporting activities. Add in school assignments and feeling that nagging guilt that they should be spending at least some time productively (or not in front of a screen!) and it’s not surprising if you are feeling completely overwhelmed or inadequate!

Isolation goes against our social nature. Even when we have family members around us, it’s not usual that we spend so much time in each other’s pockets without the distraction of work, school and usual activities.

It’s important to acknowledge and talk about how you are feeling, with a family member or a trusted friend. Sometimes, especially if you live alone, just taking the time to call or chat to a friend or family member over video can go some way to relieving those feelings of isolation.

If you’re frazzled by the kids, vent to one of your friends in a similar position and swap tips on how you’re coping.

Be kind to yourself: if a friend told you they didn’t feel like they were doing a very good job, you would probably point out they were doing the best in difficult circumstances. It’s ok to tell yourself that too!

Making the most of being able to get outside to exercise, even if it’s just for a slow walk, gives you a break from being within the same four walls. 

Everyone has an off day, and it’s important to allow yourself to acknowledge when you’re feeling low. But the low days turn into low weeks and you’re really struggling to motivate yourself, maybe it is time to speak to a professional and get some support.

As LionHeart counsellors we expected to see an increase in referrals throughout the Covid-19 crisis, with the high amount of anxiety and uncertainty that a situation like this can create. Indeed, demand is rising, but we do still have capacity and would encourage any RICS professional (or their partners!) who feels like they might need support to give us a call. We are still here for you and have continued to offer our counselling service without interruption as we switched to home-based working.

Mark Hodson MBACP is one of the LionHeart staff counsellors.

  • Find out more about LionHeart counselling here
  • Find out how Mike’s health anxiety was impacted by Covid-19 - and how we helped here
  • Need to talk? Call the LionHeart helpline on 0800 009 2960

Latest Posts

2020
October
12th - The importance of legacies
10th - Overwhelm - and overcoming it
8th - Lockdown and my mental health
September
28th - Creativity at Work
July
20th - Video
June
24th - 'If I can do it, so can you'
22nd - How to ace your APC interview online
8th - Help! I've been referred... what now?
3rd - Your coronavirus concerns, and how we're helping
May
12th - Managing health anxiety through Covid-19 - and how we helped Mike
12th - How coronavirus might be affecting your mental health
March
31st - Rising to the coronavirus challenge
24th - Keep connecting - in a different way
13th - Demonstrating our impact
February
4th - The Big C and grabbing life
4th - "Cancer wasn't meant to happen to us"
January
30th - My journey as a charity trustee
7th - Top 10 tips for CVs and interviews
2019
December
9th - Grief and loss at Christmas
November
7th - Charity trusteeship
6th - How counselling can help manage stress
October
9th - Living with anxiety and depression
July
10th - How coaching can help
May
16th - Changing attitudes to mental health
15th - The vicious circle of body image & mental health
14th - Social Anxiety & how we can help
April
11th - Life with Parkinson's
March
29th - What is Bipolar?
29th - The one about the Bipolar surveyor...
12th - Memory tips from the training front line
January
22nd - Losing a parent
8th - Frequently asked questions about LionHeart
2018
December
7th - LionHeart's support was a game-changer when I failed APC
August
16th - When the reality of motherhood doesn't quite go to plan
July
10th - The story behind surveying's Sisterhood Summit
2nd - The rollercoaster of being a first-time dad
June
22nd - My father's suicide and what I've learnt
14th - Tips for your RICS APC final assessment interview
7th - Trust in the charity sector
May
21st - Is it really okay to not be okay?
April
17th - Building resilience through your APC
January
8th - 7 ways to get more active this year
2017
December
4th - Coping with loss and grief at Christmas
October
5th - "I was told I might not be cut out to be a surveyor"
September
26th - Resilience, and why we need it
August
21st - APC Revision Top Ten Tips
July
12th - LionHeart on new fundraising code of practice
June
19th - Living with 'invisible' illness
14th - How LionHeart helped us live life
13th - Men's Health Week 2017
May
22nd - Living with panic attacks
18th - Why we must care about work life balance
11th - The chicken-and-egg of mental health and shame
February
2nd - What I learnt from Dry January
January
31st - "My 19-year journey to MRICS is what made me"
5th - Ways to be kind to yourself in 2017
2016
September
7th - Suicide prevention
August
1st - Coping with APC stress
July
13th - "I constantly watch my husband for suicidal signs"
May
26th - Dealing with referral at APC Final Assessment
19th - How mindfulness can help your relationships
18th - "I live, and thrive, with depression"
17th - Men and mental health
16th - Mental health and your relationship
April
26th - Starting out in surveying
March
11th - A happy retirement
February
1st - My Dry(ish) January
January
21st - Spring clean your finances
6th - When to consider couples counselling
2015
December
4th - Having a (financially) healthier Christmas
November
19th - Identifying and dealing with workplace bullying
18th - How to help a loved one with an addiction
June
15th - Reflections on the Lionheart Surveyors’ Football League season
12th - Carers
10th - How LionHeart can support carers
9th - Desktop Relaxation techniques
May
29th - Techniques to help combat anxiety
20th - Helping a family member with depression
18th - Achievements that make a difference
16th - Five things that may indicate your colleague needs help
11th - Helping during a panic attack
Helpline 0800 009 2960           or 0121 289 3300