The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing many people to confront challenges and burdens such as job losses, isolation, and being confined to home. As a consequence, this has presented concerns and worries about the impact on people’s mental health.
COVID-19 brings a high degree of uncertainty, and feelings of loss of control are common. Setting a self-care goal can help keep you grounded and focused on things you can control. Good self-care will ensure that your immune system is best supported. So, you need to make sure you focus on the best ways of being able to deal with your mental state during these difficult times.
You should focus on staying positive and keeping yourself busy in ways that will allow you to look after yourself. Being mentally well and stable in this sort of climate is crucial, and there are a lot of things you can do to help yourself.
Here are some simple tips to ensure your self-care remains adequate to help you get through this challenging time.
Your physical health plays a key role on keeping you mentally healthy. Being physically active is essential and can improve your mood and reduce stress. Depending upon government stipulations, you might be able to get out of the house and do some exercise once a day.
You should also look to make use of any garden or outside space you might have to work with. Fresh air and exercise are great for keeping in shape and clearing your head.
Nobody can function properly without adequate sleep. Sleep helps us to repair and restore our bodies and minds. Make sure you rest up and get adequate sleep.
Make sure your diet remains healthy. Strive for 2 & 5 healthy eating. Eating well, along with keeping active and sleeping well can make a difference to the way you feel, and may improve your mental health.
As best you can keep a normal routine, for example:
- Wake up at the same time everyday
- Eat regular meals
- Go to bed at the same time
- Take an afternoon tea break
- Reach out to a friend each day
If you are working from home, try to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life by taking regular breaks and, if possible, establishing a dedicated work space.
It is important to get accurate information from credible sources that are listed below:
- Australian Government Corona Virus (COVID-19) Health Alert
- Health Direct – Coronavirus (COVID-19) where you will find an online symptom checker
- World Health Organisation
Try and limit media intake as exposure to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety.
- Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation
- Remember that your social distancing efforts are helping others in the community and saving lives
Find new hobbies or do something creative
Activities or hobbies can keep you distracted and in return have a positive impact on your mental health and well-being which can increase your confidence and self-esteem.
Something positive about this unusual situation is that people are beginning to discover new hobbies and interests that they never knew they had. Take some time to do something that you have never done before, for example join an online choir, keep fit via online streams, or take up virtual chess. Try and keep your brain active as much as possible.
Connect with loved ones
Social connection is certainly different with social distancing, however keeping in touch with family and friends is now more important than ever before.
There are so many options to help you keep in touch with friends and family during this pandemic. Of course, social distancing is encouraged, and you need to ensure you connect virtually, but there are some excellent ways of being able to do this. Use phone calls, messages, teleconferences, and video chat to stay connected to loved ones. Find a way to connect with older adults and anyone you know that might be socially isolated during this time.
Keep yourself busy
Keeping yourself occupied is important, as this will make sure you don’t spend too much time in your own head. By making use of these ideas and techniques, you are able to keep yourself strong mentally, and this is important. During a time like this, there are so many things in the world that can cause you to worry and panic, and it is important to be mentally strong as much as possible.
Seek additional support if needed
It is normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed during these challenging times. If you do however feel as though the stress or anxiety is impacting too much on your daily life or you are not coping at all, or you are aware of somebody who needs additional support, make use of your Employee Assistance Program (if you have one) or talk to your GP. Alternatively visit the Health Direct website for a list of 24/7 Mental Health Helplines.