The Sun guide to looking after your mental health during the pandemic

OUR battle with Covid-19 is doubtless taking its toll on the nation’s mental health. Whether we’re feeling anxious about how the coronavirus is affecting our loved ones directly, or its knock-on effects – on our jobs, our children’s education – it’s a challenging time for absolutely everybody.

A lot of us have been losing sleep, missing loved ones and fretting over the future. A survey by Public Health England shows that around half of us say that our mental health has been badly affected by the pandemic. So The Sun has teamed up with the Every Mind Matters campaign to lend a helping hand.

Stressful environment … home is where everything is right now, and both kids and parents need to establish new routines that work for them

Here, we reveal top tips and coping strategies, as well as share information on where to find more help if you need it.


Make a plan

Try to work out how new rules and restrictions will impact your daily life and think about the week ahead, so you can plan how you might overcome any problems. If you can’t get to the shops, think about how you might get supplies – you could ask a neighbour or use a delivery service.

Seek control

It’s easy to feel like lots of things are out of our control at the moment. Focus on the aspects of life that you can control such as your own behaviour or who you speak to when you need support.

Hone your habits

It has been all too easy to fall into unhealthy habits since the pandemic struck, but looking after your body really can help your state of mind. Try to eat healthily, avoid smoking and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Boost your body

Be sure to do some daily, socially distanced exercise whether it’s going for a walk, run, bike ride or trying a simple ten-minute home workout. It all helps.

A short home workout can give you a boost for the rest of the day

Enjoy life

Focus on things that make you feel good, like a favourite hobby. Try something new like logging on to a free tutorial, do a course online or join in with virtual activities such as a pub quiz.

Getting ‘together’

REDUCED social contact has left many people feeling isolated and lonely. But that’s OK – it’s perfectly natural to miss our loved ones.

Creative solutions

There’s more to connecting with people than simply talking. As well as making phone and video calls, you could join an online book club or watch films, play games like Scrabble or even have dinner over the web to boost togetherness.

Lots of ways to say hello

Try messaging old friends or colleagues via social media or text, or set up a group chat on WhatsApp or Messenger.

The power of distraction

The brain likes to be occupied, and learning a language or how to play an instrument online can help you keep your mind off other matters.

Why not

Find out about support and resources and get some inspiration at

Stay connected

It’s vital to stay connected during the week whether it’s via phone calls with friends and family, using video calls or social media. It’s worth taking the time to schedule in those calls.

Staying connected to friends and family – even virtually – is really important for your mental health

Stick to the facts

Don’t stay glued to the news – take a break. BUT when you need to check facts or find out what’s going on, go to trusted sites like or

Stay in the present

Try to think about the now, rather than worrying about the future. And remember, whatever’s going on, it’s not forever.

Be kind to yourself

STRUGGLING to strike the right work-life balance or juggling remote learning and childcare?

Know your rights

Talk to your employer and check what support from the UK Government – sick pay and benefits – you may be entitled to. Separate work and relaxation time by taking breaks and socialising virtually.

A win is a win, however small

Managing your spending can help make you feel more in control, but it’s also a thing to celebrate. The same applies to making time for a neighbour. Remember to congratulate yourself.

Little hands make light work

Ask how your child is feeling. Eat healthily, avoid too many treats, and develop a routine around the new situation that’s fun, combining learning, activities and virtual play dates. Children – like adults – respond well to routine.

Why not

See the Change4Life website for practical family tips at, or get free money advice at and

Get support

Continue accessing support for existing physical and mental health issues via your GP and pharmacy. Get repeat prescriptions by phone, online, using an app or via a delivery service.

Help others

Helping others boosts our wellbeing as well as theirs. Think about how you can support people in your community – perhaps arrange to meet them safely outdoors or do their shopping for them.


Visit Every Mind Matters to answer a quickfire five question quiz to help you put together your own Mind Plan with mental health tips designed especially for you.

For urgent help, contact your GP for a referral to NHS talking therapies. For 24/7 mental health advice, find your local helpline at


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