Your wellbeing is important – here are some strategies to apply during this tough time
Know the risks
Stay informed by accessing good information (not social media, not sensationalised information but factual and reliable sources) and limit your exposure to these news sources don’t get bogged down in all the news!
Develop a routine that involves the things you think are important – devotion, eat well, clean up, gratitude diary, exercise, something you love and sleep. Start the day at the usual time, get dressed, eat breakfast etc… be ready to achieve some goals for your day.
Look after your body
Eat well and engage in physical activity. If you can get outside for a run or a brisk walk enjoy the air, the sight and sounds as you do this. Get a good amount of sleep (aim for 8 hours a night so you are ready for the next day).
Look after others
Do something good for the people you live with, whether that is cleaning, cooking or connecting with friends and family and do something good for others around you if possible.
Communicate with others
Make a regular time to contact friends and family
Do something you love
Something that gives you pleasure – this could be one of the things above like exercise, connecting with others, reading or listening to a book (audiobooks are more accessible now!) or developing your hobby.
Learn something new
Read a book you never would have read before, travel the world through a virtual tour, pick up a new skill.
Beware of living in your head
sometimes you can start to imagine all sorts of worst-case scenarios. Ask yourself am I getting ahead of myself assuming the worst when I really do not know the outcome? Am I overestimating the likelihood of worst-case scenarios? Am I underestimating my ability to cope?
Feeling disconnected? FaceTime or Zoom with your friends during breaks.
Feeling stir crazy? Time yourself running around the block as fast as you can with your head phones in and try and beat your time tomorrow, do an online home gym session, play with your dog/pet, offer to cook lunch or dinner for your family – check out this cooking site for teens. Spend some time being creative. Practise an instrument, create an artwork, write a story.
What can I control
Remember to keep coming back to the things you can control and the things that are beyond our control. If we cannot control, we cannot change it. All we can do is change our response to it.
How will I respond
Here is a helpful chart of how we can choose to respond to events. We may be in different places for some of the responses, and may want to work on moving to growth in one of the areas.
Be inspired by others self-isolation stories and guides
Mental Health and Wellbeing
If you feel stress or anxiety as a result of the coronavirus and it is impacting on everyday life, a psychologist may be able to help.
Psychologists are highly trained and qualified professionals, skilled in providing effective interventions for a range of mental health concerns, including stress. A psychologist can help you manage your stress and anxiety using techniques based on the best available research.
If you are referred to a psychologist by your GP, you might be eligible for a Medicare rebate. You may also be eligible to receive psychology services via telehealth so that you do not need to travel to see a psychologist. Ask your psychologist or GP for details.
There are number of ways to access a psychologist. You can:
- Use the Australia-wide Find a Psychologist(TM) service or call 1800 333 497
- Ask your GP or another health professional to refer you.
Other Sources of help
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800 at any time of the day or night to speak with a counsellor
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Beyondblue 1300 224 636
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
- MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
- Headspace coping with COVID-19
- Headspace 1800 650 890
For emergency situations please call
- Emergency services on 000
- Lifeline 13 11 14 or
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Look after your wellbeing by finding balance
With the current health situation, many of our normal routines and daily activities are changing. Naturally this can be unsettling, and we can find that the things we usually did to lok after our wellbeing have become difficult. Whether you are working from home, or in some form of physical isolation or distancing, it can be helpful to organise a daily routine that involves a balance between activities that:
- gives you a sense of achievement,
- help you feel close and connected with others and
- activities that you can do just for pleasure.
An imbalance of pleasure, achievement, and closeness can affect our mood. Fore example if you spend most of your tie working with no time for pleasure or socialising, then you may start to feel low and isolated. Conversely, if you spend most of your time relaxing for pleasure and not doing other things that are important to you then this can also impact your mood.
At the end of each day could you check in with yourself and reflect on ‘what did I do today that gave me a sense of achievement? Pleasure? Closeness with others?’ Did I get a good balance, or what can I do differently tomorrow?
From Psychology Tools Limited 2020
Coping with COVID-19
St Vincent’s Hospital offer an excellent site with some skills to develop to help you cope and communicate, a quiz you could do to assess your level of distress, and some sources of further help.