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How to manage health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic

It’s a strange and difficult time for us all. But for some, worrying about being or becoming ill can make living through the pandemic particularly challenging.

With breaking news alerts and constant coverage of the outbreak, it’s natural to be concerned with minimising risk and maintaining your wellbeing.

In this guide, we provide you with ways you can manage worries about your health.

Managing health concerns

  • Take comfort in knowing you're playing your part

    Doing what you can to stay safe is the best way to prevent illness and maintain your wellbeing. Simply by washing your hands frequently, wearing a face covering where appropriate, and keeping a safe distance from other people – you’re helping to reduce the spread of infections.

    Remember, the steps you’re taking each day can go a long way in keeping you healthy.

  • Seek clinical advice if you need to

    It can be difficult to know what to do or where to go for support in times of uncertainty – but it’s important to know help is available. If you have a health condition that makes you particularly vulnerable, it’s worth getting in touch with your GP for guidance.

    Write down any questions you may have and raise them with your doctor. This will help you to understand your health risks and identify the best ways of looking after yourself.  

    If you think you may have been exposed to the virus, contact the NHS 111 helpline for information and advice.

  • Pay attention to your emotions

    If, for example, you recognise that travelling by tube unsettles you, you can begin thinking about other forms of transport you’d feel most comfortable with. And if busy areas cause you a sense of uneasiness, consider changing your schedule to avoid crowds of people.

    Take some time to think about what might be fuelling your fears and anxieties. You may be able to establish workarounds that can help to put your mind at ease.

  • Share your concerns with others

    Don’t keep your worries to yourself - try speaking to someone about what’s on your mind concerning your health. Whether it’s sharing your thoughts and feelings with a friend, family member or your employer, talking about it can be helpful – often providing a sense of relief.

    It’s often easier to deal with challenges and free our minds from worry when we talk things through. 

  • Stay informed but limit your news intake

    For many of us, keeping up-to-date with the latest developments has become increasingly important in recent months. But limiting the amount of time you spend consuming information about the current situation can go a long way in reducing feelings of worry or anxiety concerning your health.

    Start by setting yourself a time frame for watching broadcast channels or reading news on social media – e.g. for 30 minutes or so each evening. This way, you can stay updated, whilst minimising the potential for overwhelm.

  • Look after your mental health

    If you’re finding that your worries are affecting your daily life, it’s a good idea to prioritise your mental wellbeing.

    Start each day in a positive way by doing five minutes of breathing exercises – counting to four as you inhale slowly and exhaling for four seconds at the same pace. This can help you to feel more relaxed – easing feelings of anxiety and increasing your sense of wellbeing.

     

Getting help and support

If you work, or have worked, for a UK bank and would like to speak to someone, please call our free and confidential Helpline on 0800 0234 834. We’re open 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

More support

  • Our support services

    The Bank Workers Charity exists to support current and former bank employees. Find out more about the services and support we provide.
  • My Possible Self

    My Possible Self is a research-led app which offers a holistic approach to mental health. It can help you to manage anxiety, tackle depression, ease stress and improve sleep.
  • Anxiety

    Anxiety is a normal reaction to fear or danger but in some cases it can be debilitating. Use this guide to learn about anxiety so you can begin to manage it.

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