Looking after our mental wellbeing is important, especially so during uncertain circumstances. The current pandemic is having a profound impact on all facets of our society so it’s important to acknowledge and check in with how we are doing within ourselves.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind, and remember support is available at your fingertips.
The concept of a global pandemic can be overwhelming and it’s reasonable to be concerned but it’s important to keep a calm and practical approach. It’s in our nature to be afraid of the unknown, but remember that experts are working to contain and treat the virus and we can each do our bit by following official advice.
Finding a healthy balance with media
Being exposed to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety. While it’s important to stay up to date, not everything you see and hear will be completely accurate. Limit your intake of news to trusted sources, like health.gov.au, and when it comes to specific concerns, for example private health insurance, reach out to your own providers like Phoenix Health for information specific to your individual circumstances rather than making assumptions.
If it’s affecting you, it’s likely affecting your loved ones too
We’re constantly absorbing information from the from the news, social media and what we hear around us. Children especially may not be able to understand or process all the information they hear and those who are isolated may be feeling overwhelmed without their usual support networks.
As parents, caregivers and friends, it’s our responsibility to be aware that the situation may have a different on impact on our loved ones than it does on ourselves. We’ve prepared some advice on how to talk to your kids about the coronavirus here.
Eat, Move and Sleep well
Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time and incorporate regular activities like exercise and set mealtimes as much as possible. There’s evidence that exercise has can have a positive effect on depression and anxiety, and as long as it’s safe to do so, consider going for a daily walk, run or ride to help clear your head.
Be kind to yourself
These are extraordinary times. Don’t compare yourself to what you see your friends and acquaintances doing on social media with their extra time, their jobs or how their kids are coping with distance learning.
If your employment has been impacted by the pandemic, try to remind yourself this situation isn’t permanent and that over time, the situation will improve.
Dr Blashki, Beyond Blue’s lead clinical advisor, suggests incorporating one “pleasure activity” such as watching a TV show you love or enjoying your favourite chocolate, and one “achievement activity” such as tidying up your resume or enrolling in an online course, every day.
Just because you can’t physically be with friends and family doesn’t mean you can’t connect. Apps like Facetime, Zoom, Skype and House Party can help you enjoy a sense of connection even if it’s not face-to-face.
Check in on vulnerable neighbours or consider leaving a note in letterboxes if you’re able to offer help with things like picking up groceries or medication for those who might be isolating; think of it as your “achievement activity.”
Reach out if you need support
This is a challenging time and none of us have experienced a pandemic before. Disruptions to our normal routine and being isolated from friends and family can have an impact on our wellbeing so it’s important to remember if you’re feeling anxious or struggling to cope there is help available. Here’s a couple of resources to keep in mind:
The Phoenix Health are also here to support you and we encourage you to reach out on 1800 028 817 or email [email protected].