It is understandable if you are feeling concerned in these unprecedented times as Coronavirus (COVID-19) affects us globally, but not becoming overwhelmed is important to your wellbeing and ability to effectively cope. We all respond differently to stressful events, and it is important to find what works best for you.
Below are some tips to help you look after your wellbeing during COVID-19.
Be correctly informed to help you remain calm
Due to the pandemic, the rhythm of life will change and we will need to change aspects of our normal routine but doing so in a calm way allows us to keep our own, as well as other people’s, level of worry more manageable. Ways to help with this are:
- Take information breaks – taking time away from your newsfeed or news channels can help you to process the information and also relax the mind. Consider muting some accounts you follow if you are finding they are proving to be unhelpful
We can still be social just not physically
Staying connected is very important, especially with people who have a positive impact on how you can manage the situation. We are fortunate to live with modern technology where it is still possible to see each other through a quick press of a button or app, so use these to stay connected to your family and friends.
Kindness is essential – to yourself and others
Ensuring you are kind to yourself, but also others will be required at all stages of this situation. Take some time to think about how this could look for you.
* Being kind to others
* Being kind to yourself
Creating a self-care plan can help to identify areas you need to brush up on, or maybe even stay clear of, as well as setting some goals or routines to follow to help you feel prepared to manage the situation. Check out our factsheet and planner to assist with this.
With the changes to socialising and services, you may need to think outside-the-box on what you can do to look after yourself as your normal routine or go-to activities may not be available.
Below are a few ideas to help you be kind to you…
- Stay connected
Call a friend each day for a chat
- Stay active
This might look different to normal, perhaps you can sign up to online yoga or there are even some coaches doing great daily online classes like #PEwithJOE
- Get some fresh air
If you have a garden get out and enjoy it, perhaps you can even find your green thumb, gardening is great for fresh air, satisfaction and exercise, you could even plant some veggies and reap your rewards in a few months. Or you can just enjoy reading a book outside to top up your vitamin D.
- Relax the mind
Take some time to allow your mind to rest, to help achieve this you could try reading a book, meditating, getting crafty. Try and find something each day that gives you and your mind a chance to relax
- Eat well
Eating well will help you stay healthy and feeling good. You could even take your cooking to a new level by trying out some new recipes. Take a look online as some chefs are getting creative and offering online cooking classes!
- Learn something new
This change of pace could be a great opportunity to learn something new. There are so many great online courses available, you don’t have to go for a big course, but places like Udemy.com and Lynda.com have great short courses, for example, you may have always wanted to learn how to edit your videos for youtube – well now is a great time to kick start becoming a youtube sensation!
- Set a routine
Having a routine for key parts of your day i.e. bedtimes, meals and breaks will help your day and mind have structure and help you achieve things each day
- Be creative
Getting creative can provide time out but also help you cope. Some examples are painting, learning a new Tik Tok dance, write a story, learn to knit!
- Find space for a smile and giggle
Find time each day to smile or laugh, it’s OK to still feel happy and laugh even in difficult times. Perhaps this can be whilst having morning tea you Google your favourite comedian and watch a 5 min skit, or musicians around the world are doing #togetherathome concerts, so why not settle down and escape for a moment whilst a concert is broadcast to your lounge – you might even get them responding to a message you send!
- Watch out for negative habits
Be aware of negative habits which may not be helpful in the long-term such as smoking, alcohol and other drugs, be sure to seek support if you feel bad habits creeping in
- Manage your media
If what you’re seeing in the media is causing you stress, try to find a balance. Don’t avoid it altogether as staying educated and informed is helpful, but ensure it is the correct info and you are not overloaded. You can also ask a parent or adult to help you understand the news and where to go for information
- One day at a time
Finding the perfect way to manage or cope may not be solved in one day, so instead take it one day at a time, if something you did today didn’t quite work, that’s OK, there is tomorrow and you can try something different or leave something out.
Coping with anxiety
Hopefully all of the above will help you positively manage your anxiety, but it can also be good to get informed about anxiety and signs and symptoms to look out for, not just in yourself and others. Our mental health topic pages on stress and anxiety are great places to get informed.
If the feelings of anxiety get overwhelming be sure to reach out to those around you or support services if you need support – you can even do this online, places like Beyond Blue and Reach Out have chat forums on COVID-19.
Ensuring your get adequate rest is important, and even more so if you find your own, or a family member’s normal work/routine, has seen them/you coping with extra stress. Be sure to acknowledge if this becomes too much and try to implement some of the above areas to assist.
There are also great support services to provide help. See our finding help section.
If you are having trouble sleeping, check out our relaxation topic page with tips to help you get some decent zzzzzzzz’s.
Don’t make assumptions
Speculation in these situations is counter-productive so again getting information from reputable sources is key.
It is also important to remember COVID-19 can affect anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity or sex, don’t judge people.
Most importantly, if you are not coping seek professional help
Reaching out for help is OK, if you feel like you are not coping check out our topic page on finding help. You do not need to go through this alone. Help is available.
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