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Looking after your wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus pandemic presents big challenges for people all over the world, and with so much uncertainty it’s understandable that you might be feeling anxious or overwhelmed. At this difficult time, we can each play a role in helping to look after ourselves and each other. With that in mind, we’ve got some advice for staying positive and looking after your wellbeing.

Listen to the experts

With so much information and fake news going around, it can be hard to know who to listen to and what advice to take into account. Reading lots of news and speculation about coronavirus can lead to increased anxiety, so we’d recommend limiting the amount of time you spend reading or watching things which aren’t making you feel better. Perhaps decide on a specific time to check in with the news, or stick to trusted sources of information such as government and NHS websites.

Follow the government advice and read our University coronavirus FAQ’s for the best and most up to date information. 

Be kind to others 

We can make a big difference by supporting the people around us and showing solidarity with our community. This is a time to treat everyone with empathy and compassion, and come together to look out for others. Take some time to reach out to friends online, do something nice for your housemates and try to remain positive. 

Have a break from social media

Social media is a hive of speculation and false information, and it’s beginning to feel like everyone is posting about going into quarantine or stockpiling loo roll. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to stay off your apps and avoiding clicking on coronavirus hashtags.

Mute key words which might be triggering on social media and unfollow or mute accounts, and try to distract yourself with other things like reading a book or watching some TV for a bit instead.

Keep yourself busy 

You’ve got some time inside ahead of you (check the NHS website for guidance) If you live alone, you must stay at home for seven days from the day symptoms start. If you, or someone you live with, develop symptoms, the entire household needs to isolate for 14 days to monitor for signs of Covid-19.

Self-isolation can bring feelings of boredom and worry, which can lead to increased feelings of restlessness and anxiety. To help you stay positive try to fill your time being productive, whether that’s getting ahead on your coursework, taking up a new hobby or doing some home exercises. 

Stay connected with friends

Being at home can feel lonely and monotonous, so it’s a really good idea to keep up your spirits and stay connected with friends and family online. Schedule in regular phonecalls and FaceTime chats so you don’t miss out on socialisation, and you could even arrange online group chats for your course or assignments so you don’t lose the support you get from your fellow students.

Look after yourself

Coronavirus has given rise to lots of uncertainty. Reactions to the crisis can include feeling overwhelmed, fearful, sad, angry and helpless, but it’s important to remember you’re not alone and the feelings you’re having are completely normal. 

If you find yourself struggling, the first point of call is our Student Support website which has online resources to help with issues around your wellbeing, as well as signposting you to other forms of help where needed. Mental health charity Mind has more information to help you cope if you are feeling anxious or worried about Coronavirus.

Aside from your mental wellbeing, it’s also important to look after yourself by staying active, keeping busy and following good personal hygiene practices by washing your hands regularly. Read our tips to help avoid the spread of coronavirus for a good starting point. 

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