Coronavirus: Taking care of yourself and those around you

20 March 2020

Each year at the beginning of lent we hear how Jesus was lead into the wilderness, where he was tested.  The wilderness is of course an isolated space; it becomes a testing place precisely because of the isolation.  We believe that human beings were created to live in relationship.  Relationship with one another and primarily with our Creator God.  So now in the lent of 2020 we find ourselves, more than ever, understanding what Jesus went through – and we can be assure that God has experience this too.

We read in the scriptures that in the wilderness Jesus was tested by the devil.  The taunts of “the evil one” have echo of what we might experience today:  increasing isolation, bombardment of negative and worrying news stories and concerns for the health of those we love, can heighten anxiety levels and cause depression.

We have had a look at some resources that have become available during the Coronavirus outbreak that can boost wellbeing and mental health to help build resilience at this difficult time.

Anxiety and depression

The mental health charity, Mind has produced a comprehensive set of resources for when:

  • you’re feeling anxious or worried about coronavirus
  • you’re asked to stay at home or avoid public places, for example if your employer asks you to work from home
  • you have to self-isolate.

See more here.

Practical help to overcome anxiety is here.

This advice emphasises the importance of routines, relaxation and remaining connected with others. Tips are offered for parents who are working from home but have children with them.

The NHS offers a breathing technique that can be used to help reduce stress: 

The charity Anxiety UK has produced a couple of helpful blogs which recommend a number of relaxation and calming measures including using the Headspace app.

For older people

This is likely to be a particularly worrying time for older people. Age UK has a section of helpful general information.

Loneliness is known to affect older people and the potential for this to become more widespread now is clear. Two charities that offer helplines are Sane and the Silver Line.

More information here:

  • SANEline is staffed by trained volunteers and professionals and is open between 4.30pm and 10.30pm every day of the year on 0300 304 7000. 
  • Silver Line offers a weekly life line of a telephone conversation to people over 55. Find out more by calling 0800 4 70 80 90 

Keep connected with Church friends

While church buildings may be closed, many church communities are offering telephone pastoral care and the chance to be part of an online worship community.

We have worship sheets to use at home and details of online worship and tips for those who want to do this here

Some examples of this are: