We understand this is a really stressful time for everyone and it’s extra hard to maintain your mental wellbeing, especially if you have to self-isolate.
Following are some ideas, tips and links to helpful resources to read, take part in and share.
If you’re a student, we are still here to talk to and you can book in for a chat / well-being appointment through Student Support – email@example.com.
Tips on taking care of your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak:
- Don’t be afraid to take time away from social media
- Limit your news in take
- Stay connected with friends and family
- Talk about your worries (see useful websites below)
- Exercise (see useful websites below)
- Click on the image below for more ideas:
Useful websites for if you want to talk:
www.kooth.com is a free, safe and anonymous support for young people which offers a wealth of resources, including distraction techniques and coping mechanisms.
For tips from the NHS on things to do and not to do to aid your mental health go to https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/.
The Mind website is not specific to students but has some good practical advice. To view their page follow this link: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
In addition, you may find it useful to look at some of these:
Student Minds has a wealth of information, tips and resources at https://www.studentminds.org.uk/findsupport.html
The Mental Health Foundation has tips which are constantly being updated: https://mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus
If you have OCD and would like some Coronavirus Top Tips visit https://www.ocduk.org/ocd-and-coronavirus-survival-tips/
If you suffer from an eating disorder and would like help during the Coronavirus go to https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/coronavirus
For those with Bipolar disorder that would like information and guidance on help during the coronavirus visit https://www.bipolaruk.org/…/coronavirus-emergency-how-we-ca...
CALM is a helpline for everyone, but especially men, which has tips on coping with social isolation. Visit https://www.thecalmzone.net/…/putting-the-social-into-soci…/
Anxiety UK has self-help resources for anxiety related conditions. Follow this link: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/
If you are a victim of domestic or sexual violence and abuse you can visit the Victim and witness services at https://www.gov.uk/…/coronavirus-covid-19-victim-and-witnes…
Specifically for disabled students: The grass-roots Disabled Students’ group “Change for Disabled Students” has a general guide. Go to https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ffu6XUEO900wNJVD-WxPjn_m51R2DCAmKkRX6Hx93UE/edit
For those with an Autistic Spectrum Condition visit: https://sites.marjon.ac.uk/marketing1/2020/04/01/tips-for-working-during-this-crisis-for-students-with-anxiety-and-autism-spectrum-conditions-ascs/#.Xoc19H22Jas.link
And don’t forget to check out our wellbeing pages at https://sites.marjon.ac.uk/handbook/health-well-being/
Keeping physically healthy whilst studying or working from home can help your mental well-being:
Below we have listed some pages to help keep you active:
One You web page: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/move-more/
Home-based strength and cardio workouts for adults: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/move-more/home-workout-videos/
Seated strength and flexibility exercises for adults with mobility issues: Https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/
Five-week strength and flex programme: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/strength-and-flex-exercise-plan/
Sport England: #StayInWorkOut work: https://www.sportengland.org/news/how-stay-active-while-youre-home
British Heart Foundation: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/activity/get-active-indoors
Stress can be really overwhelming, especially in times like these. We want you to know that we are here to talk to about anything that may be affecting you, be it academic or personal.
If you feel that you would like someone to talk to please contact the Student Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are our top 10 tips on helping to combat stress.
Emerging from Isolation
So, the good news is that isolation won’t last forever. However, our lives have changed and some people may find it strange returning to how things were before.
Please see the link below for suggestions on how to emerge from isolation as smoothly as possible.
If you find that you are struggling and would like some support please remember you can email
email@example.com and ask for a wellbeing appointment.
For the most up to date advice please go to our Coronavirus web page: https://www.marjon.ac.uk/coronavirus/.
We would like to introduce you to the Marjon Bereavement section, we realise that these are difficult times for all students and especially difficult for those that have lost someone. We hope you will find these pages helpful in supporting you during this difficult time.
If you would like to talk to someone about any aspect of studying at home, a personal or study issue, please contact Student Support at firstname.lastname@example.org and remember that Michelle and Claire are still on hand for a virtual cup of tea and a chat, you can contact them via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 – A message from Claire and Michelle
Things that may help but we don’t want to talk about it…..
Someone you love may well have passed away because of this virus; firstly we want you to know that there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. You might feel angry, sad or depressed, or even guilt or relief. You might be numb and not feel anything. The way you grieve might be influenced by your culture, beliefs, or how your family and community understand loss.
How you react might be different to how other people around you react. You might not feel anything for a while and may experience delayed grief. There might be some occasions when you are expecting it, like when you experience one of many ‘firsts’, such as your first Christmas without that person. Or these feelings might catch you unaware sometimes. Grief can come up at any time.
If you are staff member or student at Marjon we want to support you in this very difficult time.
If you are a student please feel free to get in touch with email@example.com as well. This can be about anything and not just if your loss is affecting your academic work. If you feel that counselling may help then please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org Counselling is also available for Marjon staff through HR.
Would you like to talk to someone anonymously?
Other links to how to handle grief can be found here:
Quick Advice for Covid-19 related bereavement – the charity Sudden has produced Covid-19 specific bereavement advice which can be accessed as follows:
Cruse Bereavement Care – About Grief
If you are the person responsible for arranging the funeral for a loved one, Michelle and Claire would be happy to be contacted to officiate at the funeral service. You may have never had to do this before, the Chaplaincy team would be happy to talk you through the process of arranging a funeral with you.
Funerals during the Corona pandemic, at the time of writing, can only take place either in a local crematorium or at the graveside. Unfortunately, no churches or chapels can be used, including the Marjon chapel, but clergy are still available for a religious service if desired. There will likely be a limit of the number of people who will be able to attend the funeral. (This is constantly changing but likely only to be immediately family – the funeral director will be able to advise on the latest advice for this, however some crematoriums are allowing live streams of services.)
One of the saddest outcomes of this virus is that you may not be allowed to attend a funeral of someone you love. When everything gets back to ‘normal’ Michelle and Claire will be happy to lead memorial services, or maybe one large memorial for those that we have lost during this time.
Here are some very simple ideas for you to use at the time that the funeral is taking place:
Funerals do not have to be religious. They are an opportunity to remember a person and to give thanks for their lives and a chance to say goodbye. This can be done in any way that you want to and in any way that you think is appropriate (especially when you are doing it at home and not in the confines of a church or crematorium).
- Maybe think about the music that the person liked and make a playlist.
- Find some pictures that remind you of that person, make a collage or rolling powerpoint.
- If you are able (and allowed) go to a place that the person enjoyed.
- Light a candle at the time that you know the funeral is taking place.
- Write down or draw memories
- Send a card to the immediate family and let them know that you are thinking of them and memories that you have of the person.
- Raise a glass to them!
- Speak to others who knew the person to talk about memories that you have.
- Plant something in memory or have something else that is a reminder of the person
- Donate some money to a charity that you know the person who support
If you would like a spiritual nature or words to your way of remembering then these might help:
If you would like any help with any of this then please feel free to get in touch with Michelle or Claire who will know where to find you help and can talk you through what a funeral might look like if you have never been to one.
Finally, it takes time to work through grief and it’s best not to do it alone. Sometimes you might be surprised by feelings of sadness when you don’t expect them – or you might keep worrying about other people’s health, or your own. These feelings are all normal. Most of us get through with the support of family and friends.
If you’re struggling to come to terms with a death, finding daily life hard and things don’t seem to be getting any better, it can help to talk to someone. Tell a trusted friend, family member or teacher how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling very worried, you can talk to your GP about counselling and professional support.
It’s can be normal to feel guilty. But remember, the loss you have experienced is not your fault. And if you stop feeling sad or in pain, it does not mean that you don’t care enough. You are allowed to move on in your life, and it is not a sign that you don’t care enough for the person you have lost.
Why do I feel like I do?
When it comes to grief, experts agree that getting the support of other people is paramount. A key to understanding the grieving process is that people express it differently at different times. The Kubler-Ross stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. A community of grieving people around a single person or event can be in any stage at a given time.
How do I help a grieving friend?
It’s so hard to know what to say or do, this short video by Megan Devine is really helpful (skip the advert) –
Hope Again – free helpline: 0808 808 1677 (Mon-Fri 09:30-17:00). Hope Again is Cruse Bereavement Care’s website for young people with information, vlogs, podcasts, videos and sharing personal stories.
The Bereavement Trust – free helpline 0800 435 455 (6pm to 10pm every day) offering support and practical advice about bereavement.
Survivors of Bereavement By Suicide – free helpline 0300 111 5065 (9am to 9pm every day).
Sands – free helpline 0808 164 3332 (9.30am to 5.30pm Mon-Fri and 9.30am to 9.30pm Tues and Thurs evenings) for anyone affected by stillbirth or neonatal death.
Is it ok to post on social media?
This link gives an insight into how and why interacting with social media may help friends and relatives who are grieving:
The University accepts that social media may be the primary focus for students’ grief, especially if the student’s death happens at a time when it’s not possible to support each other in a physical space. We therefore ask students to be:
- careful not to speculate about the circumstances of the person’s death
- careful not to post anything too quickly or before they are sure all close relatives and friends are aware
- respectful of the grieving family and the memory of their loved one
- mindful that their comments / photos are in the public domain
- careful of what they post and how these might be perceived / influence the discussion
- constructive and supportive
Please talk if you need to