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Staying mentally strong

Last reviewed on 02 July 2020

You’ll have things that you do and enjoy that make you happy – these are all really personal to you and are part of who you are.

At the moment, even though you may not be able to do some of the things you love, you’ve hopefully been able to find other things to make you happy, perhaps you’ve even reignited passions for things that you’d long forgotten about. But it isn’t that easy for some people and you may just be surviving day to day and simply getting through. This is normal but it’s important that if you need support that you reach out for it.

Whilst many of us are missing doing things we know that coronavirus has led to many people simply not being able to be themselves. This is causing a massive emotional strain, which shouldn’t be underestimated.

Being yourself

Through our LGBTQ+ network, Respect, that we know that in our LGBTQ+ community, individuals may be living with family who are culturally unsupportive, they may have homophobic parents or live with people who don’t recognise the gender they identify with. They may feel at risk of homelessness. There may be some who have hit pause on coming out because they are scared of the implications of this too. Many, especially the older LGBTQ+ may be feeling quite lonely too.   Regardless of whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, you may feel like you can’t be yourself at home for lots of different reasons – from personality clashes in your household to completely opposing views on the things that make you who you are. We really hope you aren’t in this position but there is help there if you need it.

Remember who you are

Lockdown has restricted certain things in order to keep us safe and you may feel like your personality has been restricted too – in some cases you may have had to do this to protect yourself.   Try to remember why you are the person you are and what drives you to do the things you do – this will help you through the tough days. So when things are feeling challenging at work, think about why you ultimately go to work – it could be to provide for your family, to pay off debt, to pay for a holiday.   If you are having a tough day at home try to remove yourself from the stress and take a walk, call a friend who you can be your true self with – it will really help.

Take a different view

You don’t have much control over coronavirus, so focus on what you can influence - your reactions and how you think about what is happening are very much in your control.    If you are feeling overwhelmed try to think about things a bit differently. Coronavirus is definitely affecting your life but hopefully this will be for a short period of time (even though at the moment it probably doesn’t feel like it). If you can try to think about the situation in this way you’re more likely to feel positive, less worried and handle stressful problems better.  

Take a break from the news and social media

Hearing about coronavirus repeatedly can be upsetting. Try and have a few days break from it all when things become overwhelming and stick to trustworthy sources such as gov.uk (government services) or who.int (The World Health Organisation) when you do want more information.  

Do some exercise

It can be difficult to prioritise but exercise really does help, so make sure you exercise daily. It doesn’t have to be a full-on workout, you could go for a walk or do some yoga at home. The NHS has some great ideas to get you moving. You could even use this time to take up a new exercise you wouldn’t have thought about before.