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Getting back on your feet after a case of Covid-19 can feel like an uphill struggle.
The latest stats from one of the largest Government studies on the virus show around two million people in England have had long Covid, in which one or more symptoms last at least 12 weeks.
And alarmingly, almost a third have experienced moderate to severe depression as a result.
Former EastEnders actress Danniella Westbrook recently revealed battling the virus had hit her mental health, describing feeling a little brighter following “a week-and-a-half of depression” after “coming out of Covid”.
The 47-year-old said, “It was severe, severe depression. I was getting out of bed just to eat, sometimes not even to wash. Depression is in all of us and none of us can escape it, it’s just how it manifests. For me, it’s particularly bad since I had Covid.”
Mental health charity Mind has this advice to help you beat the blues that can follow a bout of coronavirus…
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If you’re feeling claustrophobic
Open the windows to let in fresh air, or have a cup of tea on your doorstep, in the garden or at a local park.
Even looking at the sky from your window can give you a sense of space.
Regularly changing the rooms of your home that you spend time in can also help.
If you’re feeling lonely
It can feel hard to talk about how you’re feeling but many people find sharing their experiences can help them feel better.
Talking to people – or one person – you trust face-to-face may be difficult, so opt for phone or video chats instead.
As well as listening to you, the people you speak to may be able to help you think of new ideas for coping or ways of distracting yourself.
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If you’re feeling frustrated
If you don’t feel strong enough to do activities you usually enjoy, plan a new routine made up of small things you can still manage – a 10-minute walk, reading a chapter of a book or making a regular call to someone you love.
Set yourself goals that feel achievable, such as getting dressed every day or having a nice bath or shower.
These are important achievements when you’ve been unwell and will all work towards helping you feel good. Take it one day at a time.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed
Staying informed on current events can feel important, especially if you want to keep up with coronavirus guidance.
However, if you’re struggling with your mental health, reading worrying news stories can be difficult.
It’s also not helpful to read updates that may not be reliable, so take care about where you get your information.
If the news makes you feel anxious or confused, think about switching off or limiting what you look at for a while – and the same goes for social media.
Sometimes, just an hour away from the screen can help calm our minds.
Visit mind.org.uk for more information and support
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