Top tips for looking after your mental health if you have COVID-19, from people who have had it
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We asked people who’ve had COVID-19 how they looked after their mental health and wellbeing while they were unwell. Here are their top tips:
  • Be kind to yourself, be gentle with yourself. Remember that having COVID-19 is not your fault. You are not to blame
  • Give yourself permission to do less, rest and take time to heal
  • Be patient with your recovery
  • Spend time outside if you have a garden
  • Listen to some gentle music
  • Get some sunshine and fresh air every day
  • Look after your wairua/spirit, with karakia, waiata, prayer, mindfulness, meditation – whatever is meaningful and helpful to you
  • Limit or stay off social media, and unfollow people or pages that upset or distress you. Don’t “doomscroll”! If you find yourself just endlessly scrolling social media, try putting your phone away for a while
  • Watch your favourite series or a movie that you don’t have to try too hard to keep up with
  • Play board games if you have others at home unwell with you
  • When you start to feel better, distractions are key! Watch new series on Netflix, take up knitting, start a new project, clean the house – stay busy, but don’t overdo it
  • Eat things that nourish you if you can
  • Try some self-soothing techniques - use a nice smelling moisturiser on your body, touch something soft and comforting such as a teddy bear, use an ice pack on your forehead to make yourself calmer
  • Keep your fluids up – it makes you feel better mentally as well as physically
  • If you take medication, keep that up. Keep taking prescribed medications
  • Stay in touch with others – especially if you live alone. Just send one text a day if that’s all you feel up to, but it’s important to stay connected
  • It’s normal for COVID to make you feel emotional, low and/or confused. This can be really hard on you and the people around you. Be kind to yourself, take time for yourself, and remember this will pass
  • Think about doing smaller versions of the things that make you feel good when you’re well. If you’re not up to watching a whole TV show, maybe just watch a clip on YouTube. You can’t go for a run, but you can go for a walk to the letterbox
  • Contact support/helplines if needed, don't be afraid to ask for help.