When I Had Coronavirus: A Practical Guide to Looking After Your Mental Health

Hold onto the simple things that bring you joy, whether it's the sound of the birds in the morning, or the smell of your dinner in the evening, or even something someone said that made you laugh.

A quick disclaimer: if you are feeling unwell due to Coronavirus, we suggest speaking to a healthcare professional for advice. If you are looking for information, please visit the UK Government website for Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support or the World Health Organisation page on Coronavirus. If you feel like you are in need of more urgent care, call 111 for advice or 999 if in crisis. 

Getting Coronavirus

My name is Phoebe and I got coronavirus in early January after an outbreak at my place of work. I get tested weekly and even though I felt fine, my test came back positive. From my experience, I suffered from very mild symptoms including a slight lack of taste.

During lockdown; and like most people I imagine, the thing I have been struggling with the most is not being able to see my friends due to the restrictions. I have made sure to keep in contact with them using my phone, asking them how they are and sharing with them how I have been feeling, it's been nice but it's not quite the same as chatting to them in person.

As I have been working through the latest lockdown, social interaction at work has been one of the main things keeping me going. So when I got coronavirus and learnt that I had to stay at home for 10 days, I definitely struggled.

Keeping positive after a positive test result

In an attempt to overcome some of my coronavirus worries and to make sure I stayed optimistic about the future, I put together a list of all the things I wanted to do when I was out of my 10 day isolation period and another for when wider restrictions are eventually lifted. This is so that I can have things to look forward to. Some things included going for a walk to get some real fresh air, another was being able to go to the cinema, which is something I loved to do before lockdown! Anything I could think of no matter how small or big, I wrote it down and reminded myself that I will be able to do those things one day.

The sea on a nice sunny day where I went for a walk and appreciated my surroundings after I was allowed out of quarantine.

I spent a lot of time keeping my mind busy, or you could say distracted. Luckily for me, I have access to a phone and tv so I spent lots of time watching new tv programmes or listening to a range of music I've been into recently. I also started reading one of the books on my to-read list. Whatever you fancy doing, that you can do at home, do it! Even if it's only once and you decide you hate it after, it's still better to try it once and know. You could find that you love it. You never know until you try.

Looking after my mental health during isolation

During my 10 day quarantine, I made a to-do list of little jobs around the house that I could do and made my way through it. I made sure to not put pressure on myself to get lots done every day but to make sure I did at least one thing on the list to give some kind of structure to my day. Even if I did the task at 6pm, that was okay because at least I'd done it. Little goals are really important to make and also to celebrate, we should be enjoying everything we can at this time.

I made sure to listen to my body, to feel through my intuition what I wanted and needed. Whether it was to pamper myself and paint my nails, or to sleep in until 12, or even watch 3 episodes of the same tv programme one after the other because that's all I felt like doing. Saying that, I also made an effort to spend time in different parts of the house, I appreciate not everyone has this luxury but whatever space you have, I recommend moving around.

My latest craft project in which I'm making a rug!

Not being consumed by screens is another thing I tried to regulate, whether it be the tv I was watching or how much news I was consuming. In terms of the news, I tried to keep informed by getting my news from a reliable website (Coronavirus – BBC News), but also made sure I wasn't overloaded with the amount of news that I was consuming. Considering most news stories have some kind of negative aura to them, it was definitely wise to limit screen time and not watch the news on the days where I felt it would overwhelm me. Knowing when you've had enough or when you should take time away from your phone is very important.

What I learnt from the experience

What I learnt about the situation was that this is a daunting and unusual time for everyone. I tried to remember that lots of us are in the same boat and are feeling similar things and that it is always a good thing to share your thoughts with other people, whether that's your family or friends, and to even gain a different perspective from someone else sharing how they feel.

The advice I'd give to others going through the same thing is…

Keep pushing on, we are hopefully coming out of the other end of it, and when we do it will feel good. The weather is getting better and as it gets a little warmer we might all start to feel a little brighter.

Thanks for reading this blog post, I hope it made you feel a little less alone and a little more able to cope with the future. Everything is temporary and nothing really matters, so this will end, we just have to be patient and push through. Hold onto the simple things that bring you joy, whether it's the sound of the birds in the morning, or the smell of your dinner in the evening, or even something someone said that made you laugh. Hold onto the joy.

Writer's Bio

Hey everyone! Firstly, thanks so much for reading this blog post, I hope you are having a great day so far. My name is Phoebe and I am an e-wellbeing Ambassador. I am currently working as a support worker supporting individuals with learning disabilities. I really enjoy my job and love all the residents I work with, they bring such joy to my life!

I became an e-wellbeing ambassador to learn more about the mental health resources available for young people and to help raise awareness for different mental health platforms. Being able to contribute towards the improvements made to existing resources as well as creating new ones is an added benefit. Through volunteering with e-wellbeing I am able to build my creativity profile and work on projects that real young people will see, and if that helps just one person – I'm happy.


Stay Alive App

Download Stay Alive, a free suicide prevention App now: