Look After Your Mental Health.

Human beings like certainty.

When things feel uncertain or when we don’t generally feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed, and this reaction can cause all sorts of difficulties. If the current news on Coronavirus (COVID-19) is making you feel anxious, concerned, scared or stressed, here are some things you can do.

Challenge yourself to stay in the present

When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment.

In isolation – Creative therapeutic ideas for families

Notice the sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences in your immediate moment and name them. Focus on TODAY – what are you in control of, what can you achieve, what are your priorities. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control. Talk to someone about how you’re feeling.

Whilst it is normal to feel worried, if you are starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and speak to someone you trust, whether that’s a friend, a family member, a teacher or a helpline.


Don’t overexpose yourself to the news

Staying informed can make you feel in control but the constant news reports could also become overwhelming. Try to get your information from a reputable website. If you do want to read or watch the news, try to plan some activities that you enjoy which will take your mind off things, whether that’s going for a walk, chatting to a friend, watching a film or reading a book.

Do take a break from social media if you feel like the updates are getting too much. Remember YOU are in control of what you see on your feed, take breaks when you do feel like things are getting too much or mute and unfollow accounts that make you feel more worried. Arm yourself with the facts. There is a lot of information about the virus out there and false reports can fuel anxiety. Stay on top of what’s happening by using the government website, it is the most up-to-date and reliable source of information. The NHS common questions about the virus can also be useful if you are worried about symptoms or family members.


Stick to your normal routine.

With so much uncertainty in the news, sticking to your routine can really help maintain a sense of normality. You might want to add extra activities into your day that make you feel calm, but try to keep to your daily schedule as much as possible. Having a healthy routine can have a positive impact on your thoughts and feelings.

This can include:

  • eating healthily
  • physical exercise like walking, running
  • getting enough sleep
  • doing the things you enjoy

Maintain your routine as much as possible by getting up in the morning and going to bed at the same time. Eating regular meals and staying hydrated will help also, as well as taking breaks throughout the day to talk to someone or do something you enjoy. If it’s possible, try activities in your home that get you moving like yoga or dancing.


Find things that help you feel calm.

Like at any other time it’s important that you are not only looking after your physical health, but your mental health too. Think about some activities that can help when you are feeling overwhelmed like breathing techniques, writing down how you feel, playing music or talking to a friend. It’s important during this time that you keep acknowledging how you are feeling. This could be writing a journal or something creative or meditation.



Think about who you can stay in contact with and how you can use apps such as WhatsApp and Zoom to talk to someone face to face. It’s important that you talk to people you trust during this time and continue to stay connected.


Apps that help with Mindfulness

DARE APP Help to manage Anxiety

CALM –  A free app to help manage the urge to self-harm

Young people in Leeds who are at risk of self-harm are being encouraged to download the Calm Harm app. The app helps you resist or manage the urge to self-harm; it has a number of activities including breathing techniques to help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. You can download the Calm Harm app from App Store and Google Play. You will need to select ‘West Yorkshire’ as the county and enter the first part of your postcode, this will then be localised to Leeds and will use the MindMate imagery. The postcode is optional and you’ll still be taken to the Leeds screen as you’ll have selected West Yorkshire. Leeds City Council have worked alongside the NHS to customise the app for young people in Leeds.

The Calm Harm app is an aid to treatment, but does not replace treatment. If you need to access self-harm services, please visit ‘What’s in Leeds for me? Helpline Services that are available

Leeds Mindmate

https://www.mindmate.org.uk/ Website full of information, support and guidance.


https://www.kooth.com/ Kooth is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people. 10-18 year olds can chat 1-2-1 with counsellors, access self-help articles 24/7 and connect with peers through live moderated forums. Monday – Friday 12pm – 10pm Saturday – Sunday 6pm – 10pm

The Marketplace

https://www.themarketplaceleeds The Market Place is based in Leeds city centre, it offers a range of free and confidential services for 11-25 year olds. Including, 1-2-1 support, counselling, group-work and a drop-in service, the centre is open 7 days a week. 0113 2461659


Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. If you need urgent help text YM to 85258. All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors. Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus. Childline . Comforts, advises and protects children 24 hours a day and offers free confidential counselling.  Phone 0800 1111 (24 hours)  Chat 1-2-1 with a counselor online

The Mix

Information, support and listening for people under 25. Phone 0808 808 4994 (24 hours)


24 hour confidential listening and support for anyone who needs it. (Adults included.)  jo@samaritans.org Phone 116 123 (24 hours)


HOPELineUK is a specialist telephone service and suicide prevention charity, staffed by trained professionals who give non-judgmental support, practical advice and information to young people who are worried about how they are feeling.

Teen Connect

What’s Teen Connect? Teen Connect is a helpline for 13-18 year-olds living in the Leeds area. We can offer up to an hour of support either by phone or online chat. You can have up to an hour with one of our trained staff each night to talk about what you’re going through. Who will support me? All our staff have training in counselling skills. We’re not a call centre – we are a small, friendly team of people and we all have some experience ourselves of managing our own difficulties.

How can I get support with Teen Connect? You can get support with us in three different ways: Call us on 0808 800 1212 – if we can’t pick up, leave us a voice message and we’ll call you back as soon as we can. Text us on 0771 566 1559 and a member of staff will let you know when someone will be available to call or chat online with you.