7 Tips for Managing Mental Health and Wellbeing During COVID-19

 

It’s amazing to think how our world has changed in such a short period of time

We’ve witnessed :

  • Major loss of life
  • Many of us have lost our incomes
  • We’re being advised to isolate ourselves, away from family and friends
  • Socially distance
  • No hand shakes, hugging or touching
  • The list goes on

No doubt COVID-19 has created enormous anxiety and stress.

And we’ve lost our normal stress relievers such as:

  • Playing or watching sport
  • Going to the movies
  • Social interaction
  • Shopping for clothes and so on

A world of instantaneous feedback is now reality, and for better or worse, it provides constant social media updates on the numerous devices we all own.

Unfortunately, at the moment, very little of it is positive.

Subsequently, The World Health Organisation has stressed the need for us to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Not just physically, but also mentally and psychologically during this time.

So we have produced this video to suggest a few techniques to help you look after yourself through this uniquely testing period.

 

1. Focus on the Controllables 

We cannot slow down or control the bleak Coronavirus headlines, the thousands of posts on social media, the constant updates on radio, tv and our mobile phones.

After all, staying informed is one way many of us try to maintain a semblance of control.

But if the constant feedback is causing you anxiety or stress, you can control how much of it, or from which sources you expose yourself to.

 

2. Manage Stress 

Our mobile phones are with us 24/7 and the temptation to check the phone at every notification can be overwhelming.

A great start might be to adjust your settings. Turn off notifications for the apps that are causing you distress and mute those panicked individuals who might be sharing misinformation on social media.

The data we allow into our minds will, in the long run,  affect how we feel – so it should be monitored with great care.

We would never agree to someone dumping a truck load of garbage in our bedrooms.  We mustn’t let that happen to our minds.

If you are not sure of what is causing you stress, it might help to create a stress diary and note each time you are feeling stressed. This may help you identify some triggers and formulate coping mechanisms.

 

3. Stay Positive 

This current situation is unpleasant, but it will pass. Manage your self talk.

What you say to yourself is really important.

Remember we do have control of how we can respond react to stressful situations such as these.

It is okay to be feeling uneasy right now as this situation is unique and naturally strange for all.

Rather than focus on the things that have been taken away from you, which is a natural thought process, try to consider this a phase in your life where you have been given an opportunity to complete some well overdue  tasks or work on some personal goals.

Avoid unhelpful coping strategies such as the excessive consumption of comfort foods, tobacco, alcohol or other drugs.

 

4. Working from Home

If you are working from home, try to establish a dedicated work space, maintain regular work hours with scheduled breaks.

Try to make it business as usual as much as possible, get up early, exercise if that is in your normal routine, shower, get dressed in your work attire, have breakfast and move to your workspace.

Set goals, compile a ‘to do’ list and prioritise the most important tasks every day, this will help you maintain focus.

Try to stay connected with your workmates, make regular phone calls, partake in video meetings, you could even share a 10 minute coffee break on FaceTime or WhatsApp

 

5. The Children

If you have children at home, this is a fantastic opportunity to connect even closer with them than ever before. Take time to give them all the extra attention and reassurance they need.

Again, focus on what you can control.

As much as possible, minimise their exposure to social media and news bulletins. Take the time to discuss some simple aspects of COVID-19 with them that you feel they need to know.

Do this honestly and in a manner that you feel is appropriate for their age and their temperament

Share your feelings with them and encourage them to express how they are feeling.

Remember, a large portion of a child’s learning is by observation. During this time, they will be picking up cues from you on how they might react to problems and challenges in the future.

 

6. Good Habits for Mental Health 

Show them good habits like:

  • Taking up a new exercise, it’s a great way to relieve stress and help keep you healthy
  • Keeping regular sleep routines
  • Eating healthy foods.
  • Maintaining regular connection with family and friends digitally
  • Performing a random act of kindness which is great for your mental health
  • Selecting a friend or friends that you feel maybe doing it tough through this period and with little to no support and make it a goal to contact them regularly
  • Taking time each day to connect with a loved one. No TV. No computer games. Just connect!

In addition, you may also want to learn a new skill like cooking, learning a language,  Learning an instrument and so on.

 

7. Practice Mindfulness 

You might find it helpful to practice mindfulness.

Monitor closely, your own needs and feelings. Keep things in perspective. Do your best to remain calm and please follow closely, the directives issued by the various authorities

The faster we all stick to the rules, the sooner life will get back to somewhere near normal.

 

You know, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed during this time.  It’s also okay to acknowledge your feelings with someone you trust. Just check that they are in the right headspace before you do so.

If you feel you need it, seek professional support.

Managing your mental health and psychosocial wellbeing during this time is as important as managing your physical health.

Stay safe … stay positive.

 

For more training video content on mental health and wellbeing, click here.

For more information and support you can contact:

https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/