The Coronavirus and your mental wellness How can we help protect your mental health during the pandemic?

Hi there, how are you doing?

In these times of extraordinary global change it wouldn't surprise me if you were struggling with your mental health.

I have written this article to let you know that you are not alone, reassure you that this will pass and give you tips on how to cope through it

...focusing on your mental wellness.


Everybody has heard of this, but what actually is it? There are many different names for anxiety...stress, worry, concern, fear, apprehension, scared.

But basically anxiety is an hormonal response to an emotion. Your brain sees something it sees as dangerous (a tiger, a speeding car, a news item) and the body has an emotional response- because your brain and body are all part of the one 'you'! This hormonal response helps you react. So if you need to run from the tiger you body is ready!

The problem comes along when your brain is seeing things and assessing them as dangerous, when actually they aren't.

So where does that leave us right now...in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic?

There is no doubt that the virus is dangerous. Especially to certain groups of people. And that is going to be causing anxiety. An anxiety which is very normal and shared throughout the world. Know that you are not alone in feeling this way.

There are things we can do to curb that anxiety though. We still need to have control over our thoughts and feeling so that we are able to stay mentally well.

Here are some tips to enable you to stay mentally well....

Turn off social media. Some social media can be scaremongering and share inaccurate news. Try to limit your time scrolling.
Turn of the news. Maybe allow yourself a specific time to watch and catch up on updates, but don't have it on constantly.
Change your focus! Read a book, meditate, watch a film...change the focus of the mind.
Get out in the garden/nature. If you are able spend some time outside.
Connect! We may not be able to spend time face to face with others use the modern day technology to video call loved ones and friends!
Keep a routine. As much as possible keep to a schedule. Whether in isolation or not try to have productive and scheduled activities.
Sleep is important. Ensure you are getting the correct amount of sleep per night (7-10 hours for adults)
Journal! For anyone who knows me writing things down is so important! get it out of your head and onto paper!


So many people, all over the world are currently in isolation at home. For some reading this, especially autistic individuals, that may not be the hardest part of this situation. But that being said many households are being isolated together, and that can be difficult for autistics. For non-autistic people though it may be very hard to not have contact with others.

What can you do to make isolation easier?

  • Set goals for yourself. Everyday...and write them down. What would you like to achieve by the end of the day? The size of the goal doesn't matter, sometimes the smaller the better, don't start big! The important part is the writing down and focussing on the goals.
  • Have a routine. Especially for autistic individuals. Whether you are in isolation or not, create a routine that you can be safe in.
  • Have some alone time, again especially if you are autistic and isolated with family. Make sure you have your own space for a length of time each day.
  • Maybe use this time to do something different. Play board games, learn something new online, declutter?
  • Look for the little positives...they will be there somewhere!

Activities we've always taken for granted?

This is something I heard on the news this morning..."avoid the cinema, theatres, meeting up with friend in restaurants, all things we have always taken for granted!" and I thought, not if your autistic! Those things are actually very socially exhausting for autistic individuals! So maybe this is the time when we can be free of the social expectations of socialising!


This is mostly directed to the autistic community.

To help your mental wellness be aware of monotropism! This may sound like a scary word if you haven't heard it before...but it is all about those 'special interests', those things that your brain grabs onto and won't let go of, that amazing ability you may have to focus intensely on just one subject....

In situations like this, where there is so much conflicting information, very little guidance and so many opinions it would be easy for the brain to zoom in a and focus soley on the subject of the virus. Collecting the facts, the numbers, following the situation in different countries....

Now, some people may find that helps them, to know all the information.

Others will find it increases the anxiety and fear.

Be aware of which it is for you to ensure your mental wellness stays a float.

If you find your regular focusses help calm, which they often can do, maybe focus upon them before you focus on the virus.

Seek support

If you are struggling, there are therapists who are able to work professionally online via video link or telephone so you can access emotional, theraputic support during this difficult time. If you think you might want to access support via Towards Change ltd then please feel free to call or message.


Created with images by Bonnie Kittle - "untitled image" • Marvin Kuhn - "Beautiful photo of a beautiful place" • Chetan Menaria - "Sunset silhoutte" • Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis - "untitled image" • Alex Perez - "Tools of life." • Neil Thomas - "When you need that helping hand!"