Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak
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Lockdowns can be very challenging. Everyone will experience the situation differently, but whatever you feel is normal for you. Be kind to yourself and use self-care strategies that work for you to get through this time.
Tips for looking after our mental health wellbeing during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak
The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted people in varying ways on an international scale. It is understandable that during times such as this, people may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus.
Whilst it is important to stay informed, the following are some mental health and wellbeing tips and strategies to continue looking after ourselves and each other during these difficult times.
Manage your exposure to media coverage
Constantly being exposed to the media can increase feelings of fear and anxiety. Be mindful of where the information comes from and ensure you are accessing reliable and accurate information. We have provided some links below.
Follow a ‘calm yet cautious’ approach
Do your best to remain calm and be mindful not to contribute to the widespread panic that can hinder efforts to positively manage the outbreak. Ensure you are following directives issued by the government, medical advice and observe good hygiene habits.
Show compassion and kindness to one another
In times of fear, isolation (both physical and social) and uncertainty it is important that we strengthen our sense of community by connecting with and supporting each other. Remind yourselves that we can manage this much better together in solidarity, and that COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate – it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, nationality or ethnicity.
Actively manage your wellbeing
Wellbeing may be managed by maintaining routines where possible, connecting with family and friends (even if not in person), staying physically active, eating nutritious foods and seeking support by contacting Lifeline or further professional support as required.
You, or someone you know may be directed to practice social distancing, self-isolation or go into a period of quarantine which may feel daunting and overwhelming and can contribute to feelings of helplessness and fear. In addition to the above guidelines we also encourage:
Research after the SARS pandemic in Hong Kong in 2008 showed the importance of maintaining connection through pandemics. It found that residents in Hong Kong experienced increased social connectedness, which offset the negative mental health impacts of the pandemic.
If you think someone is struggling with social isolation, it is important to reach out to them and let them know you care. Don’t underestimate the power you have to offer hope to another person. You might want to:
We encourage people to get creative with how they interact. Here are some ways to stay connected while self-isolating:
This is an uncertain time for everyone, and children may be particularly impacted by fear and anxiety. Here are some tips on how to ensure your children are supported:
It is extremely important to seek out help if you feel you need it. We want to remind everyone that Lifeline is here to offer support to you and listen. Lifeline are committed to ensuring our services continue as normal during this time.
For further or ongoing support please speak with your local GP or health professional to discuss additional mental health support options.
To keep up to date with latest information and news we recommend:
For Crisis Support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, chat with us online at lifeline.org.au or text us on 0477 13 11 14. Lifeline services are available 24/7.