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Help and advice
Coping during COVID-19
Help and advice
Coping during COVID-19
Help and advice
Coping during COVID-19
Help and advice
Coping during COVID-19
There is a lot of uncertainty around the current Coronavirus outbreak. The situation is changing every day, and even though we do not know everything about the virus yet we are learning new things every day.

For many people this is causing a lot of worry and anxiety. Some may have concerns about how to stay well and healthy, and not pass the virus onto vulnerable loved ones.

Government recommendations around social distancing, staying indoors, and schools closing will have an impact on us all. Some people may find that loneliness and anxiety may get worse during this time.

Good mental health and positive wellbeing can help you better cope with the disruption Coronavirus is creating in our lives.

This guide was put together by Croydon CAMHS.

Social media is a fantastic tool for connecting with others during this time, but a lot of rumours about the virus are being posted. Seeing lots of scary sounding rumours can create a lot of unnecessary fear.  

Try to avoid looking at the news, and stories about Coronavirus too much. Constant monitoring of news updates and social media about Coronavirus can increase feelings of worry and distress.

Try this instead

  • Turning off automatic notifications
  • Setting boundaries of how much news you consume e.g. once a day at a specific time

Make sure you’re aware of the facts. The Government, the NHS, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and other leaders are providing daily updates about decisions that are being made as a response to Coronavirus.

Stay up to date with that information and know the facts, not rumours. Below are some of the links to credible sources of information:

SLAM also have information about changes to services, and advice. Take a look at the infection control page for more up to date information.

Even when you are at home, it is important to try and maintain a personal schedule. Try to shower and change your clothes each day, stick to your usual eating times and try not to spend too much time watching TV, playing video games or being on social media.

Making time to chill out is important, but by making a schedule the days will go by more quickly and you will not lose track of time.

Here's an example of a daily schedule. Try it out, or adapt it to suit your needs:

Before 9am

Wake up

Eat breakfast, make your bed, get dressed


Morning exercise

Family walk, yoga, dance video, exercise video, or something else


School / work time

No electronics. Complete your study tasks, or revision





Household chores

Do something like washing up, cleaning the bathroom, or something else


School / work time

Electronics okay. Complete your study tasks, or revision


Creative time

Drawing, lego, craft, music, cook, bake, imaginative play, writing, reading


Get some fresh air

Walk, play outside, bike, run



Connect with family members in your house


Free time

Connect with friends via phone, messages, chat, online gaming

9pm onwards


Relaxation and wind down for bedtime. Try some relaxation, or mindfulness apps.

Do not feel pressure to ‘spend this time wisely’

Although we suggest that you make a schedule to keep yourself busy do not put pressure on yourself to be doing something all the time.

Having down time is good and healthy everyone. If we set ourselves a big a task that we cannot meet, we may feel disappointed or let down by ourselves, which is a true waste of time.

Keep connected with people. Everyone will be finding this time challenging so try to stay in touch with people through instant messages, video call, phone call, emails, or even letters.

Talk to your friends and family about your feelings and deal with challenges together. Receiving support and care from others can help give a sense of comfort and stability.

Helping others in their time of need helps them and you. They may be feeling alone or concerned and you could help them learn the facts about Coronavirus. 

If you have a friend who seems depressed or very low, ask a trusted adult to help connect with them.

Try to talk about things other than the Coronavirus. A lot of good is coming out of this time of need. People and communities are coming together to help each other, and it is important to keep that in mind.

We know that physical activity helps us with our mental wellbeing. 

Try to move your body each day, even if you are indoors. Exercise can help to elevate your mood and lower stress.

Find creative ways to build physical activity into your dialysis routine and try to stick to it.

You could try:

  • Cleaning your house, or room
  • Dancing to music
  • Going up and down stairs
  • Online exercise workouts
  • Getting as much sunlight, fresh air and nature as you can. This could be in your garden, local park, or woodland. Remember to keep your distance from others

It is normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or upset, or have other emotional reactions to the current situation.

Allow yourself time to notice and express what you’re feeling. This could be by writing them down in a journal, talking to others, doing something creative, or practising meditation.

You will know what helps you to manage your anxiety. Remember that breathing, mindfulness and grounding exercises will help you to relax. Try some of the following exercises:

Calm triangle breathing

  1. Breathe in for 3 seconds, feeling your lower belly expand with air.
  2. Hold your breath for 3 seconds.
  3. Breathe out for 3 seconds through your mouth, feeling your lower belly flatten.
  4. Repeat this cycle for 2-3 minutes until you feel more relaxed.
calm triangle breathing diagram

Self-care includes focusing on things you can control, like good hygiene, instead of things you cannot control.

Try these things if you can:

  • Maintain your daily routine and normal activities
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Get enough sleep
  • Do things you enjoy and are in line with your core values

Self-kindness is essential if you want to cope well in this crisis – especially if you are in a caregiver role.

Ask yourself, 'if someone I loved was going through this experience, feeling what I am feeling – if I wanted to be kind and caring towards them, how would I treat them? What might I say or do?”

Then try treating yourself the same way.

Our thoughts (how we think about things) are interlinked with how we feel emotionally and physically.

If our minds are filled with lots of catastrophic and anxious thoughts like, “I won’t be able to keep my family safe during this outbreak”, then this is likely going to make us feel emotionally distressed and anxious.

It might impact us in different ways; difficulty sleeping, poor appetite, difficulty concentrating, tiredness and low energy.

As best you can, try to think positive thoughts and not focus on things you have no control over.

At the end of each day, try to identify 3 things that happened in the day that you are either grateful for or enjoyed.

This is a really nice way to reflect and focus on the good things during this time of uncertainty.


CAMHS COVID-19 survey

We are running a survey of families who are in with contact us to find out how young people and their families are getting on during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find out more please visit the CAMHS COVID-19 survey page.