The current outbreak of Covid 19 has brought up difficult emotions for many of us. Stress, anxiety, sadness, fear, confusion and even anger are normal responses in a crisis, but these take a toll on us over time. While it's crucial to focus on our physical health and physical distancing, we also need to look out for the impact on our mental health. There are things we can do to look after our mental well-being during these stressful and uncertain times.
Any advice you have heard lately, on how to look after yourself psychologically, will have emphasized the importance of depending on reliable sources and avoiding spending hours researching and scrolling online, so I’ve done research and found some good resources (use tabs below). I will update this page as I find other resources.
In the meantime, take care & stay safe.
Mindfulness Sessions Online
Many experienced and qualified mindfulness teachers are offering FREE online sessions – talks, reflections, meditations etc. Many of these sessions you are online, live with the teacher, but also with others. It’s so important, in this time of physical separation, that we stay connected. You don’t have to speak or contribute or even identify yourself (to the wider audience) if you don’t want to.
Never before have so many leading experts in mindfulness been accessible to the public – if you’ve ever thought of trying out mindfulness, or are practicing and would like to practice together, have a look below.
The times listed are GMT unless otherwise noted.
All sessions listed here are free.
Most are suitable for complete beginners.
Available via Zoom or YouTube or via a feed on their website
All teachers are qualified mindfulness teachers or recognised experts in their fields.
There are sessions from Ireland and across the globe (locations are specified)
If one person could be credited with bringing mindfulness into the mainstream it is Jon Kabat-Zinn. Founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction and prolific author. A series of livestreams with Jon Kabat-Zinn as a part of “Mitigation Retreat” in 2020 brought to you by Jon and Wisdom 2.0. You can watch all episodes on Youtube .
The Sanctuary (IRE)
The Sanctuary offers a place of welcome for all who would like to learn about, develop and sustain a life- long mindfulness/meditation practice.
Monday Morning Meditation at 10.00 am
Wednesday Evening Meditation 7.30 pm
Thursday Lunchtime Meditation 1.15 pm
Ten Percent Happier (US)
Coronavirus Sanity Guide:
Practical, actionable ways of coping with stress, fear, and anxiety. The meditations, podcasts, blog posts, and talks on this page will help you build resilience and find some calm amidst the chaos. These resources are free for all.
Between March 2020 & May 2020 Mindful.org brought together mindful leaders from across the US for an online meditation series. You can access the recordings here. Features Sharon Salzberg, Bob Stahl, Miranda Bush, Anne Alexander, Chris Willard, Cara Bradley, Rhonda Mcgee, Mitch Abblett and more
Oxford Mindfulness Centre (UK)
The OMC is offering free weekly online mindfulness sessions facilitated by Willem Kuyken. The weekly practice sessions are intended for people who have an established mindfulness practice and wish to develop their practice further. Each week, there will be practices, talks and an opportunity to explore different themes in small groups.
On the first Wednesday of the month we host a guest speaker, a mindfulness teacher and / or researcher from around the world. These talks are free to join and you do not need prior mindfulness experience or practice to take part. The monthly guest talks will also be available as a free podcast
Sharon Salzberg (US)
Sharon is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world renowned teacher and a New York Times bestselling author. Sharon is offering a variety of online resources. Most are free, but some require registration to participate in.
Recorded Mindfulness Meditations
Mark Williams, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Oxford and author of ‘Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World’, a book which contains the complete 8 week mindfulness course developed at Oxford University. The meditations from that course are here
Dr. Kristen Neff is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion. In addition to her pioneering research into self-compassion, she has developed, with Dr Chris Germer, an 8-week Mindful Self Compassion program. These are some of the meditations from that program here
MBSR online courses;
Dr Paul D'Alton, Associate Professor of Psychology and Principal Clinical Psychologist, on coping with COVID-19 anxiety.
Professor Ciaran O'Boyle, RCSI Centre for Positive Psychology and Health, on maintaining good mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minding your Mental Health in Isolation
Featuring Dr. Harry Barry, GP; Enda Murphy, Psychotherapist & Anne Marie Creaven, Psychologist
RTÉ Radio 1 Today with Sean O'Rourke - Thursday 26th March
Brendan Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin discusses his eBook: Coping With Coronavirus: How to stay calm and protect your Mental Health (Available on Amazon for €1)
Julia Samuel MBE psychotherapist, paediatric counsellor and author of This Too Shall Pass talks about the impact of diagnosis on the psyche and how to cope.
Rick O'Shea, Presenter of The Book Show Louisa Cameron, Raven Books recommend Uplifting Books for Self-Isolation
Kathy Sheridan, Tony Bates and Fr. Brian Darcy talk about coping with anxiety during the coronavirus lockdown
Peter Lunn, Head of Behavioural Research at the ESRI, on what Behavioural Science can tell us about how and why we act in certain ways during times of crisis
Jane Negrych from The Sanctuary, a meditation centre in Dublin founded by Sr. Stan, talks to Brendan about mindfulness meditation.
Sleeping and Dreams - Sabina Brennan, Neuroscientist and Host of 'The Superbrain' Podcast
A podcast with advice and suggestions on how we can mind our mental health. Featuring leading mental health experts, this series will offer simple, practical exercises to quiet the noise and restore some peace. Each episode focuses on a sole topic or area of life that has been affected by pandemic.
The Center for Mindfulness, The Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion, and Compassion Institute are working together to provide daily streams and recordings of mindfulness and compassion sessions to provide resources and online support to those affected.
Copper Beech Institute offering live online meditations – registration necessary
The Free Mindfulness Project - a website hosting a collection of free-to-download mindfulness meditation exercises is creating a library of links to online resources and live practice developed to support in this time.
Mark Smyth - Senior Clinical Psychologist with Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service & PSI President
Coronavirus anxiety is a normal response to an unprecedented situation
How to be compassionate in a crisis
In this 14min video, Eckhart Tolle discusses how we can manage fearful thoughts e.g. losing our job, money, getting sick or a loved one getting sick, by turning our attention away from fearful thinking to focus on the inner body and deepening into the present moment.
In this brief animation, Dr Russ Harris, author of the best-seller The Happiness Trap, illustrates how to use ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) to deal the fear, anxiety and worry that goes with it the virsus.
Download a free FACE COVID eBook here.
In this 27min video Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of The Center for Mindfulness, shares with us what he calls the 9 attitudes that create a strong foundation for mindfulness practice.
A video series created for young people (10+ years) who have a parent with a mental illness and aims to help you understand your parent's mental illness and their behaviour. The videos describe different mental illnesses and answer common questions.
Support & Help Information
Consult your GP or mental health provider or one of the free confidential helpline services:
Samaritans Freephone 24/7 116-123, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Childline (ISPCC) Freephone 1800 666 666 (24/7) Text 50101 (10am-4pm) chat online www.childline.ie
Pieta House Freephone 1800 247 247, email email@example.com , text HELP to 51444
Alone on 0818 222 024 8am-8pm everyday
List of resources on A Lust for Life
Lots of advice and tips on how you can look after your mental wellbeing, stay active and stay connected
Local authorities have Community Response Forums in each local authority area. A dedicated phone line is now operational in every county listed here or phone 0818 222 024 (8am-8pm Mon-Sun)
Help is available for:
Shopping for food, fuel and other essential household items
Transport to medical appointments
Delivery of hot meals through local meals on wheels services
Collection of prescribed medicines
You can find accredited therapists in your area here: