Feeling safe during the coronavirus pandemic

Tips and advice on ways to help you keep safe, deal with anxiety, and feel less worried and lonely.

A volunteer in a British Red Cross uniform writes information on a data sheet.

In this resource you will consider how to make yourself and others feel safe during this pandemic, including what actions to take and how to talk to others to make them feel safe.

What does it mean to feel safe?

Feeling safe means that we do not feel worried by our circumstances or events that happen to us. This includes in our own homes and going out and about

It is harder to feel safe during a crisis, such as the coronavirus outbreak. This is because we are unsure who might have the disease and when the problem will end. Different people are affected in different ways, which can also make us feel less safe

Circles of Control is a method which can make you feel calmer about dealing with a situation and help you to assess risk further. Click on the link to watch a short film, which offers advice on a coping strategy.

It is also important to look after your own health, as that will make you feel safer. Many people have been unsure what to do when feeling unwell during the crisis. The chart below shows you how to pick the correct service to contact. Remember during the coronavirus pandemic that a painful cough may be a sign of coronavirus, so it is recommended you contact NHS 111 or your GP if you are suffering from a painful cough at the moment.

You may wish to print this off and put it somewhere easily accessible. How can it make you feel safer? Who can you share it with to help them get the right support?

BRC20-199-Choose-the-right-service-v13

Coping when feeling anxious

Many people have felt more anxious about their safety during this pandemic. This is because they are not sure if they could become unwell.

What stops you from feeling safe? Some examples could include listening to the news every hour or reading conspiracy theories.

Write down or draw what makes you feel anxious or unsafe when you are out.

Which of these things can you influence? For example, you can wear a mask, make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds and maintain social distancing.

How can you plan your trips to make sure that you feel safe (for example, what times of day could you go out?

Produce an action plan to make yourself feel safe when you go out – what you need to remember, what you need to do and how you can stay calm.

Remember to follow government advice.

A young Black woman looks off into the distance with her head leaning on her hand.

How can I help others? 

You can also help other people who don’t feel safe. One way is to behave kindly around other people. We can also listen to their concerns. Helping other people can also make us feel safer, as it can help us to make the world less stressful for everyone. 

These points are part of Active Listening. This is a way of listening that makes sure that the other person knows that you are really interested in their concerns:

  • Show you are paying attention
  • Show you are not sitting in judgement and reassure them
  • Show you are attending carefully to what's being said

Can you think of someone who would benefit from a conversation with you on how they feel at that moment? 

How can you listen actively to help them feel safer? 

How will helping others make you feel safer too? 


If you or someone else wants to talk about your concerns in confidence, or to help others by volunteering with the British Red Cross or a local community group, you can call our helpline on 0808 196 36.