People are talking about coronavirus (COVID-19) at the moment and this can make us feel scared, unhappy or worried. You’re not alone.
It’s ok to be worried about what’s happening in the world and to feel uncertain when so many things are changing. Everyone will feel differently, but it’s important to try not to panic.
There are some small things you can do to help you feel better and to help you look after yourself and others in your community.
Keep in touch with friends and family
There are other ways to keep in touch with your friends or family while you are staying at home such as:
- calling them on the phone
- having a dinner date by video
- having a morning group call with your friends
What video apps are deaf-friendly?
Find out which apps are great for video chatting here.
Not everything online is true
There’s lots of information out there and not everything you’ll come across is true.
Look at news online from trusted organisations such as:
- it’s fine to not check the news or scroll through endless updates each day
- take some time out and put your phone down for a while.
Create a new routine
To stop the virus spreading we have to stop doing some of things we enjoy for a while. Lots of change can be worrying and it may take time to get used to things. This is even more true when the changes aren’t our choice and we’ve not had time to plan or prepare ourselves.
Now your school or college is closed then thinking about how you’ll plan your days and creating a new routine could really help. This could include planning when you’ll do any studying, catching up with friends online and exercising.
When you’re not able to get outside as much, there are still ways you can exercise:
- get active by watching some YouTube exercise videos
- do a homemade circuit session in your garden
- take part in yoga at home.
…but also make time to relax
It’s important to switch off from the world around us. You could:
- read a book
- have a cuddle with your pet
- do some colouring in
- take part in meditation or relaxation exercises.
Have some fun
Being happy and having fun in a time of crisis might not feel right, but it’s important that we still laugh. You could:
- play a fun game with your friends online
- watch a comedy film
- dance around the living room to your favourite song
When there’s a crisis, people often come together to support each other.
Doing this in your community is an important way to help others and feel like you’re making a difference. You could:
- help a neighbour get shopping
- donate to a charity
- give to a local food bank.
See what might help in your community by looking at:
- local news websites
- local charities
- Facebook groups
If you are supporting someone in your community face-to-face, make sure you:
- have no symptoms of coronavirus
- haven’t come into contact with anyone who is unwell
- have protected yourself by being hygienic (washing your hands and not touching your face).
Ask for help
If you’re unsure or worried about anything, remember it’s okay to ask for help
You can talk to a:
- another person you trust
Sharing how you feel can be difficult, but when we keep our problems inside, we can end up feeling trapped, overwhelmed or lonely.
Putting our feelings into words helps us understand them and ourselves better.
Sometimes we can find it easier to share how we’re feeling with someone who doesn’t know us.
• ChildLine are there to support you 24/7 – you can talk to their counsellors on the phone, 1-1 online chat and email. Or you can chat with British Sign Language (BSL) using Sign Video. They also have message boards – including one about our world/current news – where you can talk to other young people or just read what other young people are saying.
• If you have questions or are looking for support our free Helpline is available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. There are lots of ways to get in touch.
Freephone: 0808 800 8880
SMS text: 07860 022888
BSL video relay – Interpreter Now
What if I don’t want to talk?
Writing about problems and how we feel also helps to get things clear in our minds. Sometimes this is enough to make your worries feel smaller.
You could try writing:
- a letter to yourself about what’s happening
- a private blog
- a song
- a poem