‘Keep a routine’: Northampton Mind manager’s self-isolation mental health advice

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From eating well to dancing while cleaning, there are plenty of ways to keep on top of your mental health

As more and more people have to self-isolate in response to the coronavirus pandemic, mental health will be an issue that everyone has to address.

From feelings of loneliness to anxiety surrounding the unprecedented situation, mental health will play a huge role in the coming months.

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To help people stay mentally well during the coronavirus outbreak, local service manager for Northampton and District Mind, Paul Marshall, has offered some advice.

Northampton and District Mind's local service manager, Paul Marshall, has offered some mental health advice to follow during the coronavirus pandemic.Northampton and District Mind's local service manager, Paul Marshall, has offered some mental health advice to follow during the coronavirus pandemic.
Northampton and District Mind's local service manager, Paul Marshall, has offered some mental health advice to follow during the coronavirus pandemic. | ugc

He told Northampton Chronicle & Echo: “I think mental health will become more of an issue, especially for people who live on their own. It’s going to be really difficult.

“I don’t have all the answers. This is something that hasn’t happened before. We’re just trying to keep positive.

“We all have phones. We need to keep in contact with friends and family or anyone really.

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“I’d say we all need to keep a routine. People need to plan how they will spend their time and still get out for fresh air and do daily exercises, as we still can do that.

“It’s important to get up in the morning and follow the usual morning routine else people will spend all day in bed.

“Keep cleaning your house, put your favourite band on and have a dance.

“Sun light and fresh air are important, even if it’s just at the back doorstep. If you have a garden, get out in it.”

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Food is another important element Paul addressed that could help people’s mental health.

“The supermarkets have gone crazy and it’s easy to pick up microwave meals as there seems to be loads of them left but eating food like that isn’t going to do anything for your mental wellbeing,” Paul added.

“Stay hydrated, watch your sugars and eat the best food you can.

“People also need to think about exercise - run up and down stairs, do some lunges in your room, or whatever else to keep active.

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“Mental health issues affect one in four and it doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 85.

“Obviously with the elderly they may have to stay in for longer and that will be difficult, but the same things apply to them.”

Another issue Paul addressed was the implication the global issue could have.

He added: “Watching the news or being on social media 24/7 isn’t the best thing to do as things can easily be misinterpreted.

“It can start a panic and make people anxious.

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“We need to stay connected with current events, it would be daft not to, but turn off the TV just for a while and have a break from social media.

“Simple things like games, puzzles, relaxation and breathing exercises can help or lose yourself in your favourite film, watch something that will take you to another place and let yourself go with it.”

Northampton and District Mind has had to cancel its support groups as there would be too many people in one building, but Paul said the charity’s crisis cafes will continue.

For anyone who wants to discuss their mental health, Northampton and District Mind can be reached by calling 01604 634 310 between 9am and 5pm, or 0300 330 1011, or you can visit the website.

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