Global pandemics can be really scary, there’s no doubt about that. The balance between staying informed and not being overwhelmed can be a real challenge. It takes a lot of effort not to get swept away by speculation or to make assumptions based on what you see or hear in the media. Here are some general tips for managing your mental health and wellbeing during Covid 19.

Many of us have been tearing our hair out whilst juggling home-working with family life. It can be too easy to pile on the pressure by constantly comparing your routine with everyone else’s. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember you’re doing your best and don’t judge yourself too harshly. It might be helpful to speak to your employer about flexible working. Others will probably be in the same situation, including your boss. Read these tips for employers and employees.

Lockdown has been particularly lonely and isolating for some, especially those with existing mental health problems, young people, those shielding or without family and those in abusive relationships. Occasional feelings of loneliness are perfectly normal and usually go away of their own accord. However, as lockdown restrictions still continue in some form, there is a risk that these feelings become long-term and contribute to other mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. You can find some useful information on loneliness and a guide to coronavirus for young people here. If you are worried about an abusive relationship help is available.

But as most of us finally ease out of lockdown we have to balance the excitement of seeing friends and family again or getting back to work with the continued uncertainty about the virus. After all it’s not gone away, we’ve just been forced to live alongside it. As a teacher, I for one have huge concerns about the prospect of being in an enclosed space with up to 33 people from different households. Read these tips on looking after your mental health as we come out of lockdown.

Remember there are many things you can do to improve your mental health:

If you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health, get help now. Call the Samaritans on 116 123 or text Shout on 85258. Lines are open 24 hours a day.