Coronavirus: Mental Health Tips
Racing Welfare have teamed up with Great British Racing to produce a mental wellbeing toolkit which can be downloaded above.
We understand that the Coronavirus outbreak affects everyone who works in racing in different ways and since the third national lockdown has been enforced, it has never been more important to look after your mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing describes your mental state – how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-to-day life. It can change from moment to moment, day to day, month to month or year to year. We are here for you 24/7, to provide a listening ear and practical help and guidance.
Below are a few tips to maintain good mental health through the current climate:
Connect with people
Stay in touch with your loved ones safely. There are a many number of ways to connect with those you are currently unable to visit in person. For those of you unable to work due to the shutdown, can you schedule a time every day to speak to your friends or family members? Video calls, texts and emails help you to feel more connected and less isolated and this contact will be appreciated by your friends and family too. If you are working from home, turn on your video calling when speaking to colleagues, this can make you feel more connected. For riders and grooms, try using the time between your split shifts to contact loved ones.
Don’t forget that if you ever feel lonely or isolated you can call us on 0800 6300 443 24 hours a day. You can also listen to our podcast on loneliness below featuring advice from Welfare Officer Sarah Monkman on ways to combat loneliness and isolation.
Look after your physical health
Whilst many jobs in racing involve physical activity, you can also consider additional exercise as a way of relaxing, rejuvenating and switching off from work and the Covid-19 outbreak. Current government guidelines allow for unlimited daily exercise outside whilst sticking to social distancing advice, but look out for exercise videos being streamed over social media to complement this too. Eating healthily and drinking plenty of water will make you feel better and maintaining your usual sleep routine can make all the difference to your mental wellbeing. You can download a guide to better sleep here.
You can listen to Classic-winning jockey George Baker and trainer Katie Scott discuss their physical health along with some top tips from the Injured Jockey's Fund lead physio, Ross Hollingsworth, on our podcast below:
Take time out from the news and social media
While it is useful to stay informed and up to date with the news, it is easy to spend hours reading reports on Covid-19 on various apps and on social media. This can lead to increased stress and anxiety so it is worth sticking to one trusted news outlet and consider limiting your time on social media apps, where opinions from others can add to your anxiety.
Do things you enjoy and relax
Staying at home doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t continue doing what you enjoy. Try new hobbies, cook new recipes, enjoy a film or a TV series you have been meaning to watch for a while, learn a new skill, do some DIY, take up a new exercise such as yoga to relax, or even meditation. There are plenty of racing media outlets posting videos, features and news online so you can keep up to date and stay connected with the racing industry.
Research your employment and benefit rights
Get Support Now
We are here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you feel the coronavirus is affecting your mental wellbeing, do not hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us in the following ways:
- call us on 0800 6300 443
- Speak to a trained counsellor here
Other links you may find useful:
- Mental Health Foundation - looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
- Mental Health Foundation - mental health publications
- MIND - Coronavirus and your wellbeing
- NHS - Mental Health and Wellbeing while staying at home
- Government toolkit for those affected by coronavirus
- Breathing Space is an accessible first base for anyone in Scotland struggling with a mental health concern.
- The latest news from the Scottish Government on their mental health initiatives to support people through the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Scotland’s Mental Health Charity have a helpline, self-help resources and link closely with localised and council run services.