COVID-19 has changed life for everyone. It has become challenging to plan anything. Rolling lockdowns can add uncertainty and financial pressure. And many of us are missing contact with the people we love.
The pandemic continues to impact people differently. Stress, confusion and anger are just some of the emotions reported in recent studies.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to take care of your mental health and wellbeing. Today, we’re sharing some tips for looking after your mental health during this challenging time.
Be gentle with yourself.
Everyone is different, and it’s normal for how you feel to change from day to day.
- Take time to acknowledge your feelings
- Practise self care – take a bath, stop for a cup of tea or spend time with your pets
- Follow these tips for managing COVID fatigue
- Check out these helpful tips for managing anxiety
- Don’t judge how you are coping based on how other people are coping.
Stay connected with family and friends
Being apart from loved ones and a lack of social interaction can make you feel isolated, so it’s essential to find ways to stay in touch.
- If you are in lockdown, use video apps and calls to stay connected.
- If you’re not, make the most of the opportunity to see people you care about while you can.
- Go old school and write letters or send someone a care package. It will make you feel good!
- Create a WhatsApp or Facebook group of friends or family so you can support each other.
Get into nature.
Spending time in nature is a tried and true method for improving your mood and reducing fear and stress.
- Take regular walks in your neighbourhood, at the beach, in a park or in a forest
- If you are in lockdown, look at the areas where you can exercise and visit a park you’ve never been to before
- If you have a backyard or courtyard, spend time making it pleasant and ensure you take breaks outside.
Keep to a healthy routine.
Having a regular routine is even more important if you are in lockdown.
- Eat healthy, balanced meals
- Implement good sleeping habits to ensure you get enough sleep
- Get up at the same time each day
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Exercise daily.
Take a break from the media cycle.
The COVID media coverage is relentless and it’s easy to slip into the habit of watching announcements and restrictions continuously. Be sure to give yourself a break.
- Set yourself a time limit for media viewing each day
- Try having a weekend away from social media and news
- Be mindful of endless scrolling.
Mindfulness can improve wellbeing, decrease stress and change how we react to situations in our lives.
- Use a mindfulness app – check out our guide
- Take a mindful walk
- Find a way to practise mindfulness that works for you.
Reach out for support
Many of us tend to disconnect a little when we are down, but that can make us feel even more isolated. Remember you are not alone and support is available.
- Talk to a support worker, family member or friend you can trust.
- If you are unsure whether you should seek professional help, check out the signs to look for from the Black Dog Institute.
- Your GP can be a great place to start. They can organise a Mental Health Treatment Plan which gives you up to 20 Medicare-subsidised appointments with a psychologist or social worker.
- Check out the resources below.
Beyond Blue dedicated coronavirus support 1800 512 348
Lifeline crisis support 13 11 14
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
Headspace – information and support for young people, their friends and family 1800 650 890
Wellmob – online social, emotional and cultural wellbeing resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
ReachOut – online mental health support for young people and their parents
White Ribbon Australia – sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line 1800 737 732
Kids Helpline – phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5-25 1800 551 800
Friendline – a friendly chat line for people experiencing loneliness or isolation.
And we’re here if you need us.
Email us at email@example.com, call us on 1300 05 78 78 or chat with one of our friendly crew online.