Covid-19: Mental Well-Being Resources

March 2020: We hope you are holding up ok. What a surreal and uncertain moment we are living in right now. Our best wishes go out to you and everyone around you. 

We have put together a roundup of research-led, practical and free mental well-being resources that are relevant to our new coronavirus reality. They could be useful for you and loved ones over the coming days and weeks. If you have a recommendation to add please let us know.  

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First responsibilities and fundamentals

We believe our first responsibility is to take care of ourselves so that we can be responsible and proactive - rather than panicked and reactive - as this new situation unfolds. This is not just important for you, it’s critically important to maintain good mental well-being so that you can be of service to the others in your lives. We can all try to think of a couple of people each day who might need help with a simple supportive message, call, or groceries etc, and reach out to them. 

Always remember the fundamentals of good sleep, eating nutritious food, regular movement and looking after your mindSpending more time at home could mean more space or flexibility to build the foundations of well-being. Please take care of yourselves and each other. Take note of the World Health Organisation and your local country’s recommendations, and if at all possible please stay at home.


Written Resources 

Mental Health | Remote Working | Digital Well-Being | Staying Active

Mental Health

The UK’s National Health Service has released guidelines for looking after your mental health during the pandemic. It’s an outstandingly good resource. We also want to take a moment to salute every single healthcare and other brave crucial workers around the world and to let you know your work is so deeply appreciated by so many people. 

Jessica published this insightful article on March 13th covering a bunch of practical ways to mentally and emotionally cope better. In particular she has some great research-led tips on maintaining healthy relationships whilst isolated.

Niraj put together his thoughts on March 16th in a short 10 slide visual piece titled “Mental Balance in a Coronavirus Reality”. 

Our friends at Equoo have produced this incredibly useful world map of mental health charities with their websites

Remote Work and Digital Well-Being

This is an excellent article on the 7 Biggest Remote Work Challenges (And How To Overcome Them). As pre-Covid remote workers and a remote team, we can vouch for the wisdom in this. For the “How Not To Feel Isolated” section, think of the digital equivalents.

As a general “getting things done” article that’s adaptable to many styles of working, this is very good: “6 Extremely Effective Ways to Take Control of Your Day and Get More Done”. 

If - like many - you suddenly have to rethink your business or career in digital terms, this article on “How to Adapt Your Business in Times of Social Distancing” is really worth a read. It doesn’t have all the answers - nobody does, yet - but it will definitely give you some ideas on how to think about the situation and what questions to ask to uncover less obvious opportunities.

A few weeks ago we published a short guide to 5 apps to boost your digital balance and digital well-being. This just became a magnitude more important. Our Covid-19 updated tip is to limit your consumption of news (twice a day is a good guideline) and stick to credible sources. We have noticed a clear correlation between those who are most anxious and their levels of news consumption. If someone is bombarding you with stories, set boundaries with them.

Staying Active Whilst at Home

Staying physically active is an important part of maintaining good mental health. Particularly for anxiety, one of the fastest ways to get out of your head is into your body. Body scan meditations are also good for the same principle.

Sport England has collated a set of ideas and guidelines on how to stay active while you’re home

You will also be able to find lots of free or donation based live and recorded fitness and yoga classes online right now. If you’re able to make small donations that’s a wonderful way to support self-employed fitness trainers and yoga teachers who have lost their main income so suddenly.

For free, well produced, dogma free yoga practices we recommend Tara Stiles’ YouTube channel - her philosophy is very compatible with our “no crystals, no mumbo jumbo” approach.


Some Good News 

Renowned futurist and founder of the Google X-Prize Peter Diamandis has listed a number of major victories against the pandemic, and had them fact checked with links you can follow up on. It’s a week old (as of 25th March 2020), but we still feel it's worth sharing. He notes “Remember that our most important tool during times of panic and crisis is our mindset.” (the highlighting is his).

Around the world we’ve seen positive climate change reports as we collectively pause on our travel, production and consumption habits and let the planet breathe. This report on NASA's website explores reduced air pollution and lower carbon dioxide emissions in areas under coronavirus quarantine.  Air pollution in UK cities is falling - echoed in many other places in the world - but contrary to many reports, dolphins have not reappeared in Venice's canals. We fact check everything. 


Audio Resources

Anxiety podcast: Dr Rangan Chatterjee has recorded “Coronavirus Special: How to Manage Anxiety in the Face of a Global Pandemic” with behavioural neuroscientist and psychiatrist Dr Judson Brewer. 

Working from home podcast: Mind: Unlocked Co-Founder Niraj has just recorded a special podcast packed full of tips and practical ideas on working from home and digital well-being with Michael James Wong. Listen to it now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other places. Other guests on the series - called The Quiet Life and designed to help us cope and adapt to our new circumstances - include Jasmine Hemsley, Shona Vertue, Chloe Brotheridge, Faisal Abdallah and Camille Vidal.


Meditation

Of course meditation is not going to solve Covid-19 or put food on your table, but it absolutely can get you into a better headspace to think more clearly and be more focused as well as the physiological effects of reducing stress and anxiety and better sleep

 Here’s our 10 step PDF guide to kickstart or upgrade your meditation practice today. 

To get meditating quickly, the app we recommend the most is Insight Timer. It has a huge library of meditations and it’s free.

You can meditate with both of Mind: Unlocked's Co-Founders on Insight Timer: Have a Five Minute Reset or cultivate some (Re)Connection with Niraj, or Relax and Deepen Your Breath with Jessica. 

If you don’t want to or can’t download an app, here’s a few of our other free and open meditation recommendations: 


Know a free mental well-being resource we should consider adding?


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