The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted and affected everyone in many ways internationally. During times like this, you may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the media coverage and the constant changing of advice and regulations to contain the spread of the virus.
While it is important to stay up to date with this information, it is also important to look after ourselves by knowing that there is alot of mental health and wellbeing help, advice, tips & strategies available to us so we can continue looking after ourselves and each other during these difficult times.
Do you have older adult friends or perhaps a friend who has just become a new mum or friends living on their own? A phone call check in could go a long way to add brightness to their day. If you’re in a position to help, assistance with grocery shopping could also make a big difference. During challenging times, it’s more important than ever to check in with loved ones, friends, work colleagues and neighbours. If you think someone is not quite themselves, reach out and ask ‘Are you OK?’ The R U OK website has some handy steps for checking in and starting these conversations.
Our changing circumstances may be impacting people in different ways. Set aside time to ask yourself how you’re doing. Recognise routines which are helping to reduce stress and consider other strategies you could potentially add into your day to help. The Black Dog Institute has created a resource titled ‘Importance of self-care planning’ which helps people identify self-care strategies that are a good fit for them. Our habits can really impact how well we sleep and as our routines maybe different during this time, the Better Health Channel has some great tips on how we can improve our sleep quality. Additionally the free App Smiling Mind, has a special initiative called ‘Thrive Inside’ which helps us to stay calm and healthy in the physical constraints of our home. The
ABC podcast ‘Mindfully’ is another free resource to turn to for guided mindfulness.
Regular movement has many ‘feel good’ effects on our whole body. The key is finding a form of movement you enjoy! It might be breaking up your day with a lunchtime walk or run on your property. Or perhaps tuning into one of the many You Tube workout channels or even an online dance class perhaps? The experts at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute have developed some resources tailored for healthy adults, those aged over 65, and people living with heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Additionally, Nike Training Club app has lots of free work outs to choose from.
Our opportunities for connection during this time haven’t reduced, they’re just taking on a different form. Some tips for staying connected whilst also social distancing can be seen below:
• Reach out to friends and family via phone calls, video chats, SMS, email, social media. You might even decide to set specific times to phone loved ones and check in
• Regular contact with your work colleagues is important and your favourite rituals such as trivia, newspaper crosswords and quizzes can still continue, maybe via video chat instead?
• Sit down and have dinner together as a family
• Walk in nature
• Spend time with pets
• Read stories to your children
• When you are out in the community for essential tasks, smile at others
Other links that you might find helpful are
- E-Mental Health in Practice https://www.emhprac.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Full-COVID-19-Factsheet-.pdf
- Life in Mind Australia https://www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/support-for-those-impacted-by-adverse-events/mental-health-support-for-covid-19
- Headspace https://headspace.org.au/young-people/health-and-wellbeing/
- Mindspot Resources for coronavirus - MindSpot Clinic
- Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak
- Sane Australia https://www.sane.org/
- Mental Health Commission https://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/News/2020/March/COVID19-Mental-Health-Information
- Health Direct https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/
- Head to Health https://headtohealth.gov.au/
- Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/
- The Red Cross https://www.redcross.org.au/
- The Department of Health and Human Services https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/
- The Lookout https://www.thelookout.org.au/family-violence-workers/covid-19-and-family-violence
- Ride4Life https://www.ride4life.org.au/