Coping through Coronavirus with Samaritans Yeovil

Released On 9th Apr 2020

The onset of Coronavirus has been deeply unsettling for everyone. At Yeovil Samaritans, we’re committed to helping those who are struggling, however we can.

Because of coronavirus, there are a lot of unknowns about the immediate and long-term future

It’s normal for change, that’s outside of out control, to be worrying. 

And it’s also normal for decreased social contact to affect your mood and mental wellbeing.

Whilst we are physically isolated, it’s more important than ever for us to feel socially connected, so try and reach out to people to talk, and try to be there to listen to others.

Samaritans is a critical service, needed now more than ever.  In light of latest government advice, our volunteers are working hard to support the people who need us most wherever possible.

While we've taken the difficult decision to stop offering face to face support in our branches, and training sessions for new volunteers, and it may take us longer to answer the phone or answer emails, we're taking as many calls as we can. 

Here are some hints and tips which may help you through the next few weeks:

Create a daily routine for yourself and try and stick to it.  Make sure it involves a phone call, video link, email or text to friends or family to make sure they’re doing OK and to ensure you stay connected.

Turn the radio on!  Download a podcast of your favourite radio show, or tune into a local radio station such as Radio Ninesprings, BBC Somerset and Abbey 104 FM which may help you to feel more connected to your community. If you’re brave enough, you could even take part in a phone in!

Find a community Facebook Group such as Somerset Live, Yeovil ‘Real’ News or Sherborne News and Views.  You can find out where to pick up fresh eggs and bread to when the International Space Station might be passing overhead!

Exercise.  And you don’t need to go outside to get your step count up.  There are loads of free online exercise classes you can participate in either live (more motivating) or on Youtube which you can participate in at your leisure.  Or why not turn up the volume on the radio and dance to tunes on ‘The Breeze’ while you’re cleaning, or at the very least, do some gentle stretching for mobility purposes.  If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, the dry weather and onset of Spring is ideal for getting out there and getting your trowel stuck in. 

Take up knitting.  Join an online group and start knitting for a cause or for yourself.  Great for keeping your mind absorbed, your hands active and for getting through long evenings.   

Develop controlled breathing techniques.  If you start to feel anxious, focussing on your breathing will really help.  Here’s how:

  • Breathe in for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for four seconds
  • Breathe out for four seconds
  • Wait four seconds before repeating

Make a note of some numbers you can call for support:

If you are feeling overwhelmed and distressed about anything going on in your life remember you can call Samaritans on 116 123

Mindline are offering emotional support specifically relating to Coronavirus on 01823 276 892.

If you suspect you have Coronavirus, call NHS 111

Above all be kind to yourself if you have a day where you don't manage to distract yourself - we are human and what we are doing is extremely difficult.

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