How to protect your mental health

What can help the mental health of people in quarantine? 
It can help you to talk to people you trust.  Contact your family and friends.  If you must stay at home, keep a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, sufficient sleep, exercise, and social contact with your loved ones at home and by e-mail or over the telephone with other family members and friends.

Whom to contact with depression while in quarantine? 
If you feel overwhelmed by your feelings, talk to a healthcare professional or advisor.  Put together a plan of where to go and how to look for help with regard to physical and mental health, should you need it.  You can, for example, contact the psychological help line of Caritas Czech Republic.  As of 26 March, psychological first aid is also available on the 1212 line (choose 5), where trained psychologists can help you find a solution and relief.

How to talk to kids about the coronavirus? 
Give them facts about what has happened, explain what is going on right now, and give them comprehensible information about how they can reduce the risk of contracting the disease.  Choose age-appropriate words that they will understand.  This should include information about what may happen, in a reassuring way (for example, a family member or a child may start feeling unwell and may need to go to hospital in order that doctors can help him feel well again).

How to protect your mental health against what is going on? 
Try to actively work on your peace and good mood.  Just as you can be consumed by negative emotions and bad news, positive emotions and good news can work to the same effect.  If you are to infect someone, try to infect them with optimism.

Can meditation help improve your mental state? 
People should use those stress-management methods that have worked well for them in the past and have proven effective.  There are many ways to reduce stress, such as relaxation and meditation.  It is good to use especially those methods you yourself feel are effective.

What to do when I am in quarantine? 
Quarantine is no vacation.  Find fixed points in your everyday schedule and set a routine.  Use the forced spare time to finish unfinished household tasks.  Allow yourself to be isolated from your family members in another room.  Do not try to resolve older family disputes right now.  Quarantine is no party, either.  Hangover makes for a poorer mental state and mood, so do not overdo it.   Exercise, sleep, and food, as is always stressed, naturally, as conditions allow.  If you know how to and dare, switch off for a while.  Every crisis is an opportunity that can give us something. 

How can I help my parents who are senior citizens cope with stress?
It is important for them to have sufficient and correct facts and for those facts to be presented to them in a clear form.  They should receive clear information about how to protect themselves, which they can understand and follow.  They need to adhere to the same rules as apply to everyone else – ample sleep, balanced nutrition, physical and mental activity.  In persons with cognitive disorders or dementia, yet greater emphasis must be put on how information is presented to them.  Information must be repeated, presented clearly, and with the use of visual aids, such as pictures.  This is something that can help reduce stress in older persons.

How to choose relevant information from the media? 
Some people may feel overwhelmed with information and it may disconcert them.  It is therefore necessary to reduce the time they follow the media and news, to set a certain time limit.  For example, once or twice a day.  The media present the situation in figures, which may be quite misleading, because we are talking about people, not figures.  

How to cope with other people’s opinions when I am ill? 
It is important not to accept responsibility for how others respond to you.  If you maintain rules of hygiene and wear a mask in public, that everything is in order and that is what is most important.  This is the flu season, so it is common for people to have a cold and cough, it need not always be Covid19.