“How are you coping?

“No, really.

“How ARE you?”

Aside from the obvious effects on physical health, the coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on mental health too.

Am I at risk? Are my loved ones at risk?
What are the latest guidelines regarding isolating, and travel, and meeting other people?

There’s no doubt that it’s a complex situation, and changing constantly.

And for some, the isolation has created anxiety, stress, worry and even paranoia. The fear of contracting the virus is bad enough, but for many, the terror of elderly relatives or children contracting the virus – and not being able to ‘be there for them’ – is even worse.

For others, similar symptoms have resulted from being confined with family members, unable to get any respite from the relentless, day-to-day challenges of juggling work with domestic chores and family needs in a limited space.

But rest assured, help is at hand, and we’re here to talk, whenever you need us.

Simple Steps Can Really Help

But there are some simple things you can do to alleviate your anxiety, or that of a relative or friend.

  • Don’t be afraid to talk to other people – there are lots of people who can help you, and a list of sympathetic helpers is included at the bottom of this article
  • If you’re worried about someone else, don’t be afraid to ask them directly how they are coping, and press them for an answer if you suspect that they may an issue
  • Try to keep active: take walks if you can and get some sunshine, clear out those cupboards or that loft space
  • Try to keep to a daily routine
  • Ensure you maintain a healthy, balanced diet, with plenty of water to prevent you from becoming dehydrated
  • Avoid staying glued to the news on TV or radio, or in newspapers or online or social media – it can seem as if we are all doomed, even thought that is definitely not the case
  • Try to think of positive ways to spend this time – doing jigsaw puzzles, crafts, cooking, gardening, learning a language, developing a skill or hobby, find those books you always promised yourself you’d read. All these will help you to focus on positive outcomes and take your mind away from the more worrying aspects of the situation
  • Keep in touch – use the time to re-contact old friends, and check if they are OK. Consider volunteering yourself
  • Try some relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation; there are plenty of people offering free online help with this in your area.

If you’re buying, selling or renting a property and are worried about viewings

Let us reassure you!

We’ve put in place strict measures to ensure that whether you are a seller or landlord, or a prospective buyer or tenant, you will be safe and well during any viewing.

Firstly, we suggest that any viewings are done via photographs or video; only if you are then happy to proceed to a physical viewing will we arrange this.

At the viewing, we will observe all current advice on precautions, including

  • social distancing
  • wearing of protective masks and gloves
  • cleaning all keys, doorframes, accessible surfaces and handles
  • ensuring that all doors are left open prior to the start of the viewing
  • providing handwashing facilities at the site including disinfecting gel and paper towels.

You are not alone

Whatever happens, don’t let it fester. You are not alone in this, and there is no stigma attached to feeling worried or vulnerable. Bottling it up is the worst thing you can do, and there are so many people and organisations who can help you.

So if you need help, talk to someone. Anyone. We’re here, with a friendly, sympathetic ear. Together we can all get through this and look forward to brighter, better times before too long.

Helpful organisations and contact details

The NHS can point you towards lots of resources, either via your doctor’s surgery or through the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

If you need to speak to someone right now, ring the Samaritans for free on 116 123. They're always open. You can talk to them about anything. You do not have to wait until you feel in crisis.

And the OLLIE Foundation is a great local charity preventing families and friends suffering the loss of a loved one through suicide.

Visit the Women’s Aid website, if you are suffering from domestic abuse:

Check the website of Mind – the mental health charity at