Looking after your mental health during coronavirus
25th March 2020
Many of us are feeling the impact on our mental health as we face difficult and uncertain times.
Whilst feelings of worry and unease can be expected, we can take a number of steps to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression or panic.
The Australian Psychological Society has developed a range of tips for coping with coronavirus and social isolation [See attached docs below].
Some key points include:
Limit the amount of media you consume
Try to avoid reading the news or spending too much time on social media. Instead, find the factual information on the Australian Government site or the World Health Organization.
Proactively maintain your own health and safety
Follow basic hygiene principles to avoid anxious feelings about infection.
Avoid thinking worst-case scenario
It's easy to worry about the worst possible outcome, but reassure yourself and try to keep things in perspective.
Look after yourself
Practice self-care and encourage positive thinking. There are many versions of self-care, so find one that suits you. Some examples could include:
- Maintain social connection and friendships
- Continue activities and hobbies
- Exercise daily
- Maintain healthy eating
- Avoid alcohol or other drugs to cope with stress
- Practice relaxation, mindfulness or meditation
Seek additional help if you need it
This is a difficult and unsettling time, and if you need mental health support you can reach out to a number of organisations.
Macedon Ranges Health offers psychological and counseling services in Gisborne. These services are still available face-to-face, however, if you are uncomfortable with this - telehealth (counseling over the phone) will be available shortly.
Alternatively, you can call the Beyond Blue Support Service. This free and confidential service is available every day to all Australians online from 3pm to midnight AEST or 24 hours a day by phone on 1300 22 4636.The Beyond Blue Online Forums have a dedicated ‘Coping with the Coronavirus outbreak’ section for anyone seeking a safe and anonymous place to discuss their mental health and wellbeing.
MindSpot, a free service for Australian adults who are experiencing difficulties with anxiety, stress, depression and low mood, is offering “Wellbeing Plus” online course for people 60+ years. The course aims to help older adults learn to manage stress, anxiety, worry, low mood and depression.