I’d like tips for looking after my emotional wellbeing 

We know that lots of different things can affect our emotional wellbeing. We are all in different situations, and the current pandemic may be impacting on all of our lives differently. 

It may be that you are feeling stressed and worried because of financial worries, or concerns about your safety or the safety of others at this time. It may also be that caring responsibilities have changed, and are now impacting on your wellbeing. For up-to-date advice and information on these and other topics, please visit Derbyshire County Council’s Coronavirus webpages.

We’ve collected together a set of resources and links that will give you lots of useful ideas for boosting your wellbeing at this time. Most of them cost nothing, and you can also get going with many of them right away!

On this webpage you’ll find wellbeing information for both adults, and children and young people.

Wellbeing information and resources for adults...

I'd like to boost my wellbeing

Evidence suggests there are five steps you can take to help improve your mental health and wellbeing. These steps are connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give. The good news is that you can do these five steps, even if you are confined to your own home. 

Watch the ‘Five ways to wellbeing – from home' video.


Action for Happiness have developed a coping calendar. Each day you’ll get a new suggestion for boosting your mood and wellbeing – such as making some progress on a project that matters to you, writing down 10 things about which you feel grateful each day, and sending a letter to someone you can’t be with. Why not give some of the ideas a go? Action for Happiness have also developed a free online coaching programme, called 10 days of Happiness.

Physical activity can also lift our mood. For some great ideas on getting active at home visit the Sport England website.

Also have a look at Derby and Derbyshire Age UK’s Strictly No Falling classes. They have suggestions for home-based exercises, and have videos and also exercises. Visit their website.

You may be feeling that you would like to make some positive lifestyle changes during this period. For information and advice on lifestyle changes, such as advice on healthy eating, Live Life Better Derbyshire has plenty of resources and ideas for you. For example, they have got advice on food swaps, reading food labels, what 100 calories looks like, and portion sizes.

For some top tips on alcohol and mental health during Covid-19 visit the Alcohol Change website.

Fancy learning something new? We know learning new things can be a great way of boosting our mood. For some fantastic local opportunities for learning new things like poetry, floristry, a new language and much more click on this leaflet.

Developing a wellbeing plan

You may want to develop a plan for looking after your wellbeing during this period. Education for Scotland have developed a wellbeing planning tool. The tool encourages you to think about your early warning signs of a dip in your wellbeing, and things that may help boost your wellbeing.

I'd like some simple tips on relaxation

You may be finding that you are feeling more on edge at times - that’s perfectly normal.  And some of the things that may have helped you stay calm in the past may not be possible, such as socialising, or getting out of the house more. The good news is that there are still lots of ways you can practice relaxation, and we’ve collected some trustworthy and easy-to-use resources together for you.

The 4Mental Health website has plenty of ideas that cost nothing, and take as little as 30 seconds. Some of their 30-second ideas include three deep breaths, hugging yourself, and ‘let it go’. To find out more about their other suggestions for relaxation in 30 seconds, as well as their three-minute and 30-minute suggestions, visit their website.


Relaxation techniques, like controlled breathing and muscle relaxation, might sound simple, but they can be really useful tools for reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. The Samaritans have put together some two-minute videos for you to practise these two techniques: controlled breathing and muscle relaxation.

For some helpful tips on reducing your stress levels at this time, have a look at a two-minute video from a psychologist working for ‘Doctors without Borders’. You’ll see some simple tips on useful first steps for managing stress at this time.

Getting used to wearing a face covering 

It may be that you have not been used to wearing a face covering, perhaps it’s completely new to you. 

Some people who are new to wearing face coverings can feel worried or uncomfortable about wearing one. Some people think that it might make it difficult to breathe and sometimes this can make them feel anxious. Some people feel self-conscious about wearing a face covering. 

We understand that getting used to a face covering can feel difficult, and we’ve put together the information below to support you at this time.

It is safe for most people to wear a face covering. Some people do have an exemption due to health, age or equality circumstances and are not expected to wear face covering. For more information on whether an exemption may apply to your circumstances, please visit this Government website.

It’s normal for many people to wear a face covering on a day-to-day basis. There are many people who already wear face coverings a great deal of the time such as for work reasons (for example, doctors). 

The good news is that there are some really simple steps you can take to help you to get used to face coverings. For most of us, once we get used to wearing a face covering, it’ll just be like any habit. 

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Tips for getting used to wearing a face covering

Tip 1. Get the right face covering for you. There are lots of different ones to choose from, and finding one feels more comfortable for you will help. For example, people with glasses may find ones with a built-in nose wire stops their glasses steaming up.

Tip 2. Practice breathing techniques. It can help to practise becoming more in control of your breathing. One way of trying this is practicing a technique called 4-7-8 breathing. To do this, you breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and breathe out for eight seconds.

Tip 3. Build-up in small steps. Getting used to doing something is often helped if we take a series of small steps. This means by gradually building up how long we do something for. For example, you could start getting used to wearing a face covering by practising at home, then by going to a local shop for one item, and then building up from there.

Tip 4. Plan some breaks. Plan your day, and include some safe breaks where you are not required to wear a face covering. This may be particularly helpful while you are getting used to face coverings. 

Tip 5. Distract yourself. Thinking of other things at the same time as using a face covering can help manage how you are feeling. Maybe you could distract yourself by focusing on your shopping list. Or if you are shopping with someone else, focusing on your conversation.

Lastly, remind yourself why you’re wearing a face covering. To protect yourself and others.

I'd like ideas about connecting with others

Some people are finding that they are speaking to people less often, and that they are not able to use some of their normal sources of social support. It’s important to know that there are people there for you at this time – who are ready to connect with you, including by telephone and using video calling. You may also want to consider opportunities to volunteer, this can be a great way of connecting with new people. In this section we have provided information on a range of different ways to connect more with others.

Know someone that’s not confident with technology?

It may be that you or someone you know feels a bit unsure about using technology to speak to other. Age UK have produced some information on video-calling that may be helpful.

It may also be useful to know that Silver Line offers a 24-hour freephone helpline for older adults. If you know an older adult who is feeling isolated and is not on the internet, perhaps you can pass on this number? 

Would you like to connect with others over text or the internet?

  • CALM is a national movement against suicide and they have a helpline and webchat
  • For text support you can contact SHOUT by texting 85258
  • MIND runs a supportive online community called Elefriends

We know there has been an increase in online scams at this time - if you want some more advice on keeping safe online, visit Derbyshire County Council’s website

Would you like to meet others with a long-term condition?

The Living with Long Term Conditions course is now online. It’s a free course, and it’s a great way to meet others living with long term conditions and to learn some self-care techniques.

Click below on the documents to find out more about the course and how to apply.

Long terms conditions leaflet

Long terms conditions dates

Long terms conditions form

Would you like someone local to talk to?

For local befriending options you can contact your local CVS. They will be able to link you with local organisations, who will be trying to work differently at this time to make sure everyone in Derbyshire feels they have someone who they can talk to. Email:

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Helping others

We know that helping others can not only make a big difference to people, it can help your wellbeing too. 

If you are interested in supporting Derbyshire’s community response at this time, you can also email one of the contacts below to find out how you may be able to help:

For some other ideas of things you can do to help others at this time, the Mental Health Foundation have produced their Random Acts of Kindness (most of them cost nothing). They’ve suggested ideas such as watching a film at the same time as a friend and sharing your thoughts about it, or telling someone who you know that you are proud of them, or sending an interesting article to a friend.

People in Derbyshire have been helping out in different ways during this period, whether through going to work as a keyworker, staying at home, or volunteering (from home or a community base). For some great stories on what people living in your area have been doing, and perhaps some ideas of things you can get involved in, visit Derbyshire Spirit.


Support and resources for people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities

Support and resources for people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities

We know that Covid-19 has been affecting different communities in different ways. In particular, those who come from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities. The following links are a collection of websites, organisations and resources that specifically support these communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. It includes information for different age ranges, ethnic groups and backgrounds given that we are all different and experience and respond to the challenges of this pandemic in different ways. 

National information and resources

Muslim communities

Resources and information and guidance for Muslim communities regarding Covid-19, including mental health support and guidance.

South Asian communities

Resources and information and guidance related to Covid 19 which is translated into different south Asian languages.

Black communities

Black Girls Hike is a non-profit organisation which aims to make the UK countryside more inclusive and provide a safe space for Black women to explore the outdoors with like-minded individuals. Their regular hiking events also place emphasis on wellbeing and sisterhood. 

Chinese mental health

Information and resources around mental health difficulties for those who are part of the Chinese communities.

People from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities

The Ubele initiative is a resources hub for people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities. Signing up to the newsletter will provide up to date information on Covid-19-related issues or wider community projects.

Mental health

Information for peer support in your communities. Resources and ways to sign up to offer peer support in the local area.

Rethink have various links with organisations for further support and help regarding mental health difficulties. 


A number of coping strategies to help with feelings of anxiety, this was produced by Bristol traumatic stress service and has been translated in to a number of different languages.

NHS staff from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities

30-minute discussion with UNISON health group who lead a conversation with Yvonne Coghill, director of WRES implementation, NHS England, Kebba Manneh, chair of UNISON national Black members committee, and Margaret Greer, UNISON national race equality officer.

Older adults

Dr Elizabeth Webb provides an update on how Covid-19 is impacting black older people. There is more guidance and resources of supporting older adults with health and wellbeing on the Age UK website.


50 humanitarian organisations have produced a storybook which supports and help explain Covid-19 to children aged 6-11.


National organisation which supports victims, witnesses and third parties who have experienced hate crimes. The websiteprovides links to different service you can access and to gain further information.

Covid-related information

Guidance about Covid-19 which has been translated in to a number of different languages. The information has been produced by the government, British Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice.

Support and resources on a range of topics 

Community led support platform for those disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 crisis. You can access a number of different support organisations via the website https://sparkandco.co.uk/

I'm recovering from Covid-19

Recovery from Covid-19

Recovery from Coronavirus will often take time. Recovery time will vary from person to person. We have provided some information for you in this section on some of the common things you may be experiencing, and things that may help your recovery.

Information and support to manage your recovery

We are all different, so we have provided a range of tools and resources to support your recovery from Covid-19. There is an online course you may be interested in, or a booklet you can print off. Many people find peer support very helpful when recovering from critical illness, and at the bottom of the page you’ll find some trustworthy peer support links.

The NHS has created a resource hub to support your recovery from Covid-19. You’ll find a range of helpful resources on tips such as eating well, sleeping well and physical activity.

Information from your local hospitals

Chesterfield Royal Hospital have put together some really helpful information on their website to help you cope after you have had Coronavirus.

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton have a webpage to support your recovery from Coronavirus, with some useful information on common things you may be experiencing, and things that may help you manage your recovery.

Clinical psychologists in Derbyshire have developed two leaflets called ‘Life after Covid-19’, to support your emotional and psychological recovery from Covid-19.

Both leaflets will provide you with information about common issues you may experience, and helpful tips for managing them. You’ll also find where to get more support, if you need it.

Life after Covid-19 - for individuals who were at home, in a care home or on a general hospital ward.

Life after Covid-19 - for individuals who were cared for on a High Dependency Unit (HDU) or Critical Care Unit (CCU)

An online course to support your recovery from Covid-19

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals have developed a useful online course that you may find helpful.

A recovery information pack

A London NHS hospital has developed a comprehensive post-Covid-19 support pack with a range of tips on managing concerns such as breathlessness.

National information guides for managing your recovery from Covid-19

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists has published some excellent detailed guidance around the specifics of recovery if you are recovering from a bout of Covid-19 and you were able to stay at home throughout as well as if you needed hospital treatment.

Looking after your energy, as you recover from Covid-19

For some practical tips on conserving your energy, visit the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website.

Top tips include the ‘three Ps’ principle – learning to pace, plan and prioritise:

  • Pacing means to take your time and break tasks down. For example, washing the plates, taking a break, and then putting them away
  • Planning means to think ahead about the day or the week, spread out tiring activities. For example, building in time for rest
  • Prioritising means working out what’s important and what activities you can leave, or do another day. For example, if seeing people makes you feel better you might want to save your energy for this, rather than using it up on housework.

Sepsis UK have developed a helpful booklet on recovering after a critical illness that you might find useful at this time.

Support from others who have experienced Covid-19

If you have breathing difficulties after Covid-19, Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation have set up a Post-Covid Hub to support you. On the website there is tailored information and support for you if you were in intensive care, and if you were not. There is also a phone number you can call for support.

It can be helpful to connect with others who have been through similar experiences. For further information and peer support groups, visit the ICUsteps website.


I'm a child / young person...

Want to know where you can get more information about things that can help?


You may already know what helps you, you may want some new ideas…

Want to know where you can get more information about things that can help?

Want to learn some new self-care tips? For some great tips on self-care for your mental health at this time you can visit the Anne Freud website. You could also visit the Derbyshire CAMHS website and their section on ‘how I can help myself’.

Like music? Try a website called Rise Above with some ‘music for your mind’ during lockdown.

Fancy some new ideas for keeping active? For an activity pack with loads of ideas for having fun and staying active at home visit Active Derbyshire.

Or if you like dancing, why not try Dance Around the World - a series of videos of approximately 10 minutes which include a warm-up, dance routine (linked to a country) and a simple worksheet to accompany each dance. Why not give it a go!

We know now is a difficult time for many young carers. Some young people may not call themselves carers, but may be taking on caring responsibilities. You may find that they find the Derbyshire Carer’s Association’s Family Survival guide helpful. Nottingham Carers Association have also developed a really helpful booklet for young carers, with a range of resources.

For lots more information about local and national support services at this time, visit the Derby and Derbyshire emotional health and wellbeing website.


Want to know what’s helping other young people in Derbyshire?

Sometimes it can also really help to hear from other young people about what’s working for them. So, we asked some young people in Derbyshire to tell us what’s been helping them during lockdown. Here’s what they told us…

If I feel stressed or anxious I’ll draw something…

Looking after myself during lockdown by Grace

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Dance makes me so happy when I’m feeling down…

Dance makes me so happy when I’m feeling down. I love making up my own routines, it takes me away from the reality of lockdown which at times can be very dull. Dance lets me express my feelings without saying a word. If I feel stressed or low, I just hit the play button and move to the beat of my favourite song. Often people say, ‘I love to watch you dance Edith’. This makes my day because I’ve made other people smile with what I enjoy doing the most. When the sun is shining, I love practicing on the garden and achieving new skills, it gives me energy and it makes me feel very proud of myself.

By Edith


Connecting with my mates on the Xbox…

My five ways I’ve been looking after myself:

  1. Eating well
  2.  Listening to music
  3. Set myself a fitness goal
  4. Connecting with my mates on the Xbox
  5. Getting outside either on my bike, football skills or walking

Year 10 male: age 14


My poem about mental health…

Poem by Charlotte


Gaining new skills…

“Trying to learn a new language, enrolling on a course in politics with the Open University, and plenty of exercise are helping me stay mentally and physically healthy. We can use this time as a catalyst for improving ourselves, so whilst it’s a turbulent period, it’s important to stay safe and try to gain new skills in order to keep well.”

Alex, age 16