Arthritis and coronavirus – looking after your emotional wellbeing

30 April 2020
Gillian stood in a bedroom with her crutch for support while her young relative is in the bedroom adjacent.

We know that many of you will be impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Whether you’ve been asked to stay at home, or you are supporting loved ones.

As you adjust to your different routines, you might be feeling anxious and it may feel harder to take care of your wellbeing.

There’s lots of people looking out for you

Public Health England has published this guide with advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus crisis.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) have also compiled these resources to support you with managing your physical and mental health and wellbeing.

If youre having a difficult time, you can reach out to expert organisations like Mind and Anxiety UK for emotional support. If you're feeling anxious about the easing of lockdown, read Anxiety UK's article on coronaphobia and life after lockdown.

Young Minds UK provide mental health advice for children and young people, and if you care for others you can contact Carers UK for support. 

If youre struggling to cope, the Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

Also, you can call our free helpline on 0800 5200 520 or email: (Mon-Fri 9am – 8pm) and connect with others on our online community. 

Here’s our selection of the best advice from our information and leading wellbeing experts:

If you're feeling worried

If you need further support, the mental health charity, Mind has lots of information which could help. This includes specific support on coronavirus and wellbeing, from checklists to make sure you have everything you need for staying at home, finding ways to spend your time and advice on limiting social media and news for a while.

For conversations with children about the coronavirus, look at the Mental Health Foundation’s advice on how to talk to children.

Getting rest

We know that getting a good night sleep can be tricky when you live with pain and lack of sleep can lower the body’s ability to cope with pain.

If you’re finding it harder to get quality sleep at the moment, try some simple meditation techniques or an online yoga class might help. Read more about the benefits of meditation, yoga and tai-chi and our sleep top tips.

Keep healthy

Try to get into a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself.

Try to eat a balanced and healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. If you can’t get what you usually buy right now, tinned food can be a great alternative. Check out the store cupboard thread on our online community.

Find out what support is on your doorstep, as many local shops are offering food deliveries, as well as the supermarkets. Take a look at the COVID-19 Mutual Aid website for a list of local groups that might be able to help.

If you have a garden, make time every day to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. If you can’t get outdoors, open the windows and take time to sit in a sunny spot, especially if you're working at home.

Exercise – every little helps

Doing just a small amount of regular exercise can make a big difference to both your physical and mental health and wellbeing. It can boost your mood and help you relax. Try to make exercise a regular part of your day.

If you like to get outside, this might be a frustrating time. But there are things we can do at home to move more.

For inspiration on ways to get moving at home go to the We are Undefeatable website.They have ideas ranging from chair exercises, yoga to dancing in your kitchen.

Exercises at home: Ian's story

Keep in touch

Feeling connected to other people can boost wellbeing.

With social distancing and self-isolation, it’s important to keep in touch with your friends, family and community.

You can choose what works for you whether that’s social media, video calls and phone.

You could try getting a group together using something like Zoom or join our online community and talk to others who know what life is like living with arthritis.

If you want to help others, check out the Mental Health Foundation website for random acts of kindness.

We’re here for you

If you’re feeling isolated from family and friends during these uncertain times, we’re here for you.