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How to Protect Your Mental Health - Information for Adults

From the Fostering Rotherham Therapeutic Team

At Fostering Rotherham, we are extremely proud of our in-house Therapeutic Team. They are there not just here to support the looked after children in our network but the adults too and gave us the following to share with you all: The following information is gathered from the World Health Organisation and Anxiety UK and it is advice that carers supporting our looked after children may find helpful.

Carers and parents naturally focus on their children’s emotional wellbeing but sometimes forget about themselves, and often not until later in the day they may notice their own anxieties bubbling up. This is quite natural and to be expected.

COVID-19 has made many people feel uncertain and with uncertainty comes the need for news and contact. However, this can become overwhelming especially for those people presently living with anxiety but also for those people who have experienced anxiety in the past.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) released advice regarding how people can look after their mental health during this unprecedented time of uncertainty. WHO advised the following:

  • Avoid watching, reading or listening to news that could cause you to feel anxious or distressed.

  • Seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect loved ones

  • Seek information updates at specific times

Anxiety UK has put out the following advice:

  • Limit the amount of time you spend reading or watching things which aren’t making you feel better. Perhaps decide on specific time to check in with the news

  • There is a lot of misinformation around – stay informed by sticking to trusted sources of information such as government or NHS websites

  • Have breaks from social media and mute things that are triggering

  • Mute key words which can be triggering on Twitter and unfollow or mute accounts.

  • Mute Whatsapp groups and hide Facebook posts and feeds if you find them too overwhelming

  • Stay connected with people and agree regular check-in times

  • If you are self-isolating, strike a balance between having a routine and making sure each day has variety, it might actually feel like a productive two weeks.

  • Make a list of things you find comfort you, and refer to it when you are feeling low or worried.

  • Remind yourself that this is a ‘pause’ in your regular routine.

  • Look for ways to have fun with your family, allow yourself to ‘just be’ in the moment.

  • Take time out for just you – bath time etc.

  • You will already have many ways to take care of yourself, remember them.

  • Avoid burnout and practice the APPLE technique with anxiety and worries –

    • Acknowledge – Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.

    • Pause – Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breath.

    • Pull back -Tell yourself this is just the worry talking. and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or a feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.

    • Let go -Let go of the thoughts or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.

    • Explore – Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is is well. Notice your breathing and the sensation of your breathing. Notice the ground below you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention on something else – on what you need to do, on what you are doing before you noticed the worry, or something else – mindfully with you full attention.

Learn more about fostering in Rotherham

If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.


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