In these challenging times, our goal is to share news of what others are doing to help guide and inform the wider industry. This advice was originally published in the UK by BigHospitality. We hope it may also support businesses across Ireland.

1. Seek out reliable information

It’s important to only really acknowledge information released by trusted and reliable sources, in order to avoid any inaccurate rumours or speculation which could add to your stress levels unnecessarily. Use government-backed resources such as HSE – who also have some excellent advice on managing mental health on their website. Chef Network are also doing some great work to connect and support Irish chefs at this difficult time – check out their website

2. Try to manage how you follow the outbreak in the media

With the extensive news coverage relating to the pandemic, it can easily feel as though you are constantly flooded with talk about coronavirus. If you are finding this stressful, it is important to adapt a good balance: remain educated on the current situation but limit your news intake where possible. 

3. Talk to your children (if you have them)

Children may struggle with understanding what is going on in the world at the moment, it is therefore important to explain the facts to them and put their mind at ease where possible.

4. Don’t let self-isolation affect your mental health

Keep in touch with the outside world as much as possible, using phones, email or social media; it is important not to feel completely isolated. Establish a daily routine that gives you purpose and keeps your mind active.

5. Don’t worry alone

Talking to others helps to keep a perspective on current events. Speaking to friends, family and colleagues can provide a sense of comfort and clarity.

6. Monitor your social media

Assess your social media activity – are there particular accounts or activity that are adding to your worry? Consider temporarily muting or unfollowing accounts or hashtags that cause you to feel anxious.

7. Try to anticipate distress

It is important to acknowledge how you are feeling and remind yourself and others to keep a check on both physical and mental health. Try and reassure people around you and others – especially those who you know are living alone.

8. Plan your day

As tempting as it may be to stay in pyjamas all day, regular routines are essential for our wellbeing, self-confidence and purpose. Try to plan a schedule for your day ahead, setting time aside for relaxation.

9. Keep active

Being active reduces stress and keeps up energy levels. Stay alert and experiment with different physical activities you can do at home.

10. Try a new relaxation technique

Relaxing and focusing on the present can help to improve your mental health and lighten feelings of anxiety. Research and try different mediation or breathing exercises to see what helps.

11. Take time to reflect and practice self-compassion

It is important to make time every day to focus on all of the things that went well, recognising successes and everything you are grateful for. This will aid you in keeping a positive state-of-mind.

12. Improve your sleep

Sleep is crucial to feeling re-energised for the following day. There are a lot of things that can be done to improve sleep, for example aiming to go to bed earlier and get up at the same time each day. This will help to regulate your natural body clock and also support a daily routine.

Taken from the #UnitedWeStand campaign in the UK, an editorial initiative supported by experts and key figures from the industry. The campaign will educate and support the sector on advice, insights and breaking news to help navigate the Coronavirus crisis.

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