As thousands of us are facing lockdowns and self isolations anxiety levels for some are rising.

As countries around the globe fully or partially closed down public services, shops and schools due to Coronavirus, there are growing concerns for OCD, depression and anxiety sufferers that the British government will soon implement more dramatic measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in the UK.

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Gerard Barnes, CEO of mental health treatment specialists, Smart TMS, gives his insight on the mental health implications of the circumstances surrounding coronavirus, shares tips on how to safeguard one’s mental health, and highlights the importance on supporting friends, family and loved ones as the situation develops:

“It is certainly important to take the necessary precautions to protect one’s physical health given the circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19, but there is now a real threat of a serious mental health crisis alongside the potential physical effects, particularly to those already suffering with chronic anxiety, depression or OCD. 

Is the COVID-19 outbreak making you feel anxious?

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Here’s what you can do if you’re anxiety or depression is starting to spike.

Check in on your loved ones

While you may not be able to pay a visit to your friends and family if widespread quarantine and self-isolation measures are introduced, staying in touch with your loved ones through social media, video calling or messaging is more valuable than ever. Not being in close proximity to people can have a negative impact on your mood and energy levels, and it is therefore imperative that you maintain regular contact with loved ones to improve your mood and make it easier to deal with these stressful and lonely times. 

Stay Active

When self-isolating, it is important to make sure that you stay active. Whilst it is impossible to go to a gym and inadvisable to exercise in a public space, we would highly recommend engaging in moderate exercise at home, ideally for 30 minutes a day. Exercise is one of the best ways to fight symptoms of mental health problems, and people who are less physically active are more at risk of anxiety and depression.

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Eat well and stay hydrated

Make sure to think about your diet carefully – this is vital to both your physical and mental health. If your regular routine changes or you are less active than usual, your blood sugar levels are certain to affect your mood and energy levels, so be sure to eat healthily and drink enough water to ensure your body is in its best condition.

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