Information for shielding residents

Mental health and wellbeing

People will experience the pausing of the shielding programme differently. Some shielding residents may feel relieved to be able to go out of their homes and see people. Others may feel some anxiety and uncertainty. This is normal and it may take a little time to adjust.

If you are feeling worried about leaving your home after a long time, it can help if you take gradual steps and build up your tolerance. You could start by going for a short socially distanced walk with a trusted friend or going for a drive in your car.

As your confidence builds, you may start to feel like its possible to stay outside for longer, or even go to the shops. Again, take a friend if you feel this would help. Consider when the quietest times to visit will be and take precautions, such as wearing a mask.

Take things at your own pace but try and challenge yourself every day. Arm yourself with the facts about COVID-19 in your local area while distancing yourself from scare stories in the media and on social networks.

If you feel like your anxiety is becoming a problem, there is help at hand.

Mental Health Foundation Has some helpful tips on how to ease out of lockdown and cope with fear and anxiety.

Every Mind Matters Gives advice and practical tips on looking after your mental health, including your own free plan to deal with stress and mood.

Good Thinking Has a special section on coronavirus.

The Samaritans If you need support, call their helpline free on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. There is also a self-help app that you can download from their website.

Bereft Bereavement Support If you have lost someone close to you and are struggling to cope, you can contact Ealing’s bereavement counselling service. They offer low cost counselling at venues across the borough.