How to look after your mental health with the uncertainty of Omicron

Page last reviewed: 16 December 2021

The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak. If you are viewing this page after the 16 December, please keep up to date with the Government advice that is designed to keep us safe. It is under constant review and will be different depending on where you live: more details and up to date information here.

We are with you every step of the way

After living in a pandemic for so long, you may be feeling exhausted, weary and fed up. The additional uncertainty of Omicron might be increasing your feelings of anxiety and stress. Please know that you are not alone, and that the uncertainty right now is hard for a lot of people. But that together we can and will get through this.

We want you to know that we understand, care and are with you every step of the way. This is why we created the coronavirus and mental health advice hub. It is available for you and your mental health 24/7.

What can I do to cope with the uncertainty around socialising?

We are currently being told to ‘think carefully about if we need to socialise’ before we make the decision to do so and being advised to ‘cut down on socialising’ in the run up to Christmas. This ambiguity may be causing an increase in anxiety and stress for you.

At the moment, it remains a matter of choice, but we know that this guidance can change at very short notice. It could be a good idea to make alternative arrangements. Having a contingency plan can help you to cope with last-minute changes in the pandemic guidance.

If social plans do get cancelled, try to maintain social connections using alternative ways, such as phone calls, video calls, texting, using voice notes or writing letters.

We also know that feelings of loneliness and isolation have been affecting a lot of people throughout the pandemic and that the latest developments may make this worse. If you are being affected by this then read our advice on coping with loneliness and isolation during the pandemic.

There is so much conflicting advice at the moment – how do I know which to listen to?

Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about coronavirus can help you feel more in control.

Follow Government advice about how to look after yourself and others. This advice will depend on where you live. Visit our advice from the four nations webpage for the latest information.

Although there is a great deal of uncertainty, there are a number of things that we can all do both to reduce the risk of infection (masks, hygiene, social distancing, ventilation, vaccination) and support our own and each other’s mental health (exercise, good sleep, social connections, etc.).

For more advice on ways to find a balance between keeping up to date with the latest guidance and having a break from exposure to negative news read our coronavirus and mental health tips.

Returning to working from home is affecting my mental health - what do I do?

Some people will be disappointed or frustrated by the change in advice around going into work, and others may be relieved.

If you are finding that the latest guidance on working from home is affecting your mental health, then try talking to your line manager or HR. Ask them what they have in place to help you look after your mental health during this difficult time.

Organisations need to continue to be aware of the mental health effects of both uncertainty and home working on their staff and should continue to make appropriate support available.

Read more in our advice piece ‘Looking after your mental health while staying at home’.

How do I cope with the news of Omicron arriving so close to Christmas and New Year?

We know that winter is always a difficult time for a lot of people’s mental health for a range of reasons and this will likely be made worse by the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the increased uncertainty surrounding Omicron is making the festive season particularly difficult for you this year, then explore our Christmas and mental health advice hub and New Year blog. You’ll find advice and tips filled with warmth, community and care.

There are things that we know can help our mental health and it's as important as ever that we do all we can to look after ourselves and each other.

We have created a range of advice on a range of topics – for you

We know that mental health is an individual experience and that the news surrounding the latest variant will affect people differently. This is why we have created advice on a range of topics.

You can find advice on general mental health tips, coping with loneliness and isolation, dealing with finance, housing and unemployment worries and much more.

Explore our advice hub to find the support to suit your needs.

The Mental Health Foundation is committed to bringing readers reliable and relevant information. All of our pages are written and regularly reviewed by our mental health experts, in line with official advice on the coronavirus outbreak.

We need your support to keep providing vital information during this time.

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If you want to develop a personalised plan for supporting your mental health you can visit the Every Mind Matters site, developed in collaboration with the Mental Health Foundation.

If you need to talk confidentially you can call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time. We also have a resource on how to get help for your mental health.