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Whether you’re social distancing, self-isolating or a key worker, the coronavirus outbreak is unlike anything most of us have experienced before and at times can feel strange, confusing and overwhelming.

Financial and mental wellbeing go hand in hand, even more so in times like these. A big change in life circumstances such as losing a job, your business, or even a loved one, can result in financial difficulties which can impact your mental health. Mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression or paranoia can cause money problems.

Regardless of how you’re feeling, knowing where to start is the first step to feeling more in control. So, together with Mental Health UK, we’ve developed some useful tips, tools and information to help you and your family look after your mental health and financial wellbeing in such challenging times.

  

 

Your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

All content has been developed in partnership with Mental Health UK

 

  • The coronavirus outbreak has meant big life changes for all of us and it may be causing you to feel more stressed than normal. Stress makes you feel like you’re under too much mental or emotional pressure. And, whilst it affects us all, if you’re under stress for long periods, it can damage your mental health.

    It's important to remember it its ok to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently to different situations. Keep reminding yourself that this situation is temporary and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.

    It’s important to understand the signs of stress, so here are some of the common symptoms.

    • Irritability
    • Racing or obsessive thoughts
    • Being forgetful, not concentrating
    • Feeling overwhelmed
    • Sweating and dizziness
    • Headaches or muscle pain
    • Bowel or bladder problems
    • Dry mouth, shortness of breath
    • Fast heartbeat

    There are lots of ways to help yourself, including exercise, meditation or stress management courses. Take a look at the useful information on the NHS website. If you still find it hard to cope, your GP can offer advice, along with access to talking therapy and medication.

    Mental Health UK have also developed some useful information and tips to help people manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The coronavirus outbreak has caused many of us to feel anxious, so it’s important to understand how to manage any potential fear and uncertainty in order to protect your mental health. Anxiety makes you feel worried, fearful or nervous. It’s natural to be anxious - but if the feelings don’t go away, get worse or have no particular cause, they can become a problem.

    There are different types of anxiety - including panic attacks, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. But here are some common symptoms for them all:

    • Racing thoughts
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Feelings of dread
    • Irritability
    • Sleep and appetite problems
    • Fast breathing and heartbeat
    • Hot flushes or blushing
    • Dry mouth
    • Shaking
    • Extreme tiredness or lack of energy
    • Dizziness and fainting
    • Stomach aches and sickness

    Many people use self-help methods to manage their anxiety, which you can find out more about on the Mental Health UK website. There are also a range of approaches for treatment and management of anxiety disorders, such as talking therapy, but the most appropriate method will vary depending on the type and severity of anxiety disorder, and personal circumstances. You can also tackle anxiety with medication, and both of these options are available on the NHS.

    If you have any symptoms described above, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP.

    Mental Health UK have also developed some useful information and tips to help people manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Depression is a low mood disorder and is a leading cause of disability and ill health worldwide. We all feel down at times, especially in challenging times like these, but if these feelings last and get in the way of your life, you could have depression. For those with depression, the coronavirus outbreak could increase distress.

    Here are the most common symptoms. You may have some and not others, but any of them could mean you have depression.

    • Feeling sad or irritable
    • Feeling less able to do things
    • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
    • Becoming tired easily, low energy or losing concentration
    • Sleeping and eating less or more
    • Low self-esteem, feeling guilty or worthless
    • Losing interest in sex
    • Physical aches and pains with no obvious cause
    • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
    • Indecisiveness

    Self-help methods enable many people to overcome or manage low moods. You can have a look at the NHS website for self-help tips on how to cope with depression. There are many talking therapy options too, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), group therapy or counselling. You may also be offered antidepressant medication. Find out more about treatments for depression on the Mental Health UK website.

    If you have any symptoms described above, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP.

    Mental Health UK have also developed some useful information and tips to help people manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Paranoia is feeling and thinking you’re under threat, even though there is no or very little evidence that you are. Paranoia can be difficult to navigate, and it could be exacerbated when the impact of the coronavirus outbreak is no doubt being felt across the globe.

    Paranoia can range from being very mild to extremely severe. These experiences can be quite different depending how much you believe and think about the paranoid thoughts, and how much they upset and interfere with your everyday life. To find out more about experiencing paranoia visit the Mind website.

    If you have any symptoms described above, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP.

    Mental Health UK have also developed some useful information and tips to help people manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people have difficulty falling or staying asleep. The coronavirus outbreak has meant big life changes for all of us and it may be causing you to feel more stressed and anxious than normal. Both of which are common causes of insomnia.

    The most common symptoms are:

    • Finding it hard to go to sleep
    • Waking up several times during the night
    • Lying awake at night
    • Waking up early and cannot go back to sleep
    • Still feeling tired after waking up
    • Finding it hard to nap during the day even though you're tired
    • Feeling tired and irritable during the day
    • Finding it difficult to concentrate during the day because you're tired

    If you're having problems sleeping, there are simple steps you can take to help. In the first instance, visit the NHS website for tips on how to get to sleep and how to sleep better. If these don’t help, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP.

    Mental Health UK have also developed some useful information and tips to help people manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The coronavirus outbreak has meant big life changes for all of us and it may be causing you to feel more upset, frustrated or worried than normal. Whilst it’s natural to experience low-moods and it’s something that all of us feel from time to time, it’s important that this is addressed if the feelings last more than a few weeks.

    The most common signs of a low-mood are feeling:

    • Sad or disheartened
    • Worried and anxious
    • More tired than normal – having trouble getting or staying asleep
    • A lack of self-confidence
    • Frustrated, angry or irritated
    • Withdrawn from activities you used to enjoy or value

    The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to help improve your mood which can be found on the NHS website. However, it’s a good idea to speak to you GP if these feelings persist.

    Mental Health UK have also developed some useful information and tips to help people manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Self-esteem is the opinion we have for ourselves, and this can often feel really difficult to change. All of us go through times when we lack confidence and don’t feel good about ourselves, especially in times of big change and pressure such as these. However, it can have a negative impact on our mental health and day-to-day happiness if these feelings become a longer-term problem.

    The things that affect our self-esteem are different for everyone, but the emotional and physical effects of coronavirus are no doubt being felt across the globe.

    Difficult or stressful situations or experiences can often play a part in feelings of low self-esteem, such as:

    • Being made redundant, being furloughed or looking for a new job
    • Ongoing stress
    • Mental or physical health problems
    • Relationship problems
    • Money worries

    If you're having problems with low self-esteem, the NHS website contains lots of practical tips and advice on how to help improve it. If you still find it hard to cope, your GP will be able to offer advice.

    Mental Health UK have also developed some useful information and tips to help people manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Even before the coronavirus outbreak, one in five of us claimed to often or always feel lonely. And now, in our combined global effort to stay at home and save lives, more of us than ever before are likely to feel this way. Social-distancing from family, friends and familiar faces may get harder with time, so it’s important to address these feelings and look after your mental health throughout.

    The most common signs of loneliness are:

    • An overwhelming feeling of isolation
    • Feeling tired or low energy
    • Falling or staying asleep
    • Lack of interest in food
    • Feelings of anxiety
    • Feeling hopeless or increased feelings of depression

    If loneliness is affecting your life, there are things you can try that may help on the NHS website. If these don’t make things easier for you, your GP will be able to offer further advice. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone.

    Mental Health UK have also developed some useful information and tips to help people manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Guilt is a feeling that all of us experience from time to time, but the coronavirus outbreak has meant changes to our daily lives which have been difficult for us all to adjust to. Many people may be feeling guilty because they’ve lost their job or been furloughed, and are now feeling the strain of a reduced income. Others may feel guilty because they’re unable to support elderly parents or are struggling to spend enough time with their children whilst juggling work.

    Whatever the reason it’s important to remember that, although these feeling are natural, putting too much pressure on yourself is unlikely to help matters. The following tips should help you deal with whatever type of guilt you're feeling in a healthy way.

    1. Write down the guilty thoughts that you have, to make you aware of them.
    2. Challenge a guilty thought. Example: Thought – “I feel guilty because I’ve been furloughed and I’m doing no work, while colleagues who are still working are really busy.” Challenge – “Others decided to furlough me, not me, and I’d rather be at work, but that’s not my choice.”
    3. Think about what emotions you feel when you have guilty thoughts. You might feel ashamed, upset or frustrated, for example.  This will help you to ‘catch’ yourself feeling guilty and will help you to challenge those thoughts.
    4. Once you have acknowledged a feeling of guilt, try not to dwell on it. But instead let it go.
    5. Talk to a trusted person about how you feel.

    If you still find it hard to cope, your GP will be able to offer advice.

    Mental Health UK have also developed some useful information and tips to help people manage their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The coronavirus outbreak has meant big and challenging changes to everyone’s lives, and it has had a negative impact on many people’s mental health. If you are worried that someone you know is having an emotionally difficult time you can do the following things to help them:

    1. Offer to listen to them - Ask them if they want to talk about how they are feeling. The main thing is that you listen to them.  You don’t have to offer advice or try to solve their problems or provide solutions.
    2. Offer to give them practical help - Ask them what you can do for them. Helping them with tasks might ease the pressure on them.  If you can’t visit their home because of the coronavirus, you could still do things like go shopping for them, pick up medication or call people for them.
    3. Have fun with them - This can help them to take their mind off their difficulties for a while, and to relax.  If you don’t live with them, there are still things you can do over the phone, online or through social media. Like having a quiz or playing online video games together.
    4. Suggest they get expert advice on their money situation - If their money situation is making them worried, like debt or their housing situation, suggest they get expert advice. Or offer to get advice from them. They can contact their local Citizens Advice to begin with. Lloyds Bank are also able to help customers if you’re worried about your financial situation because of coronavirus. Contact us here.
    5. Suggest they can get professional help from their GP - You can make them aware that mental health problems are common, so GPs are used to dealing with them. Mental health symptoms are also treatable - the quicker they get treatment the sooner they’ll start to recover.

 

If you live in Wales outside of the areas currently covered by the NHS 111 service, you can get help 24/7 from NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or online www.111.wales.nhs.uk.

 

Your financial wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak

Knowing where to start is the first step to feeling more in control of your money. The following content, developed in partnership with Mental Health UK, should provide you with the information, links and tools to help you manage your financial wellbeing during these challenging times.

 

Further sources of information, help and support

More information, help and support to get you through the coronavirus outbreak.

Find out moreFurther sources of information

Important legal information

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