Our mental well-being is an important factor in how we function day to day. Just as important as our diet, sleep and physical well-being. The world has been impacted over the past few months with a global pandemic. Australia has been struck with fear, anxiety and confusion as we faced bushfires, floods and Covid-19 since the start of the year making 2020 an exceptionally tough year for everyone. I would like to take a moment to help those in need with positive habits we can all do to ensure we preserve a healthy mind during trying times.
Many counsellors and therapists have been moving towards telehealth sessions with their patients. This can range from video call, phone call, email, online chat and text message services. This is a positive step in the right direction ensuring those who need the support are receiving it. A few simple steps and pieces of information to remember are to try maintain perspective. Whilst it is reasonable for people to be concerned about the current situation we need to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts around the world are working hard to contain the virus and treat those affected.
We need to ensure we are finding a healthy balance to media coverage as being exposed to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety. It is important to stay informed but on a need to know bases, by constantly watching and reading this information all day, every day it is easy to become overwhelmed. Take a step back and acknowledge how you are feeling, your emotions and feelings are valid and it is okay not to be okay but it is important if you are feeling down to reach out for help.
Unfortunately during the current situation taking place across the globe, mental health rates are starting to spike just as mental health professionals predicted, due to job loss, isolation, uncertainty, financial loss and pre-existing health conditions, both physical and mental. Anxiety, stress and depression have risen by between 13-21 percent in a study conducted by South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute’s Wellbeing and Resilience Centre – Joep Van Agteren. The institute’s findings also show that 1 in 5 are now experiencing clinical depression symptoms.
What can you do to keep a healthy mind during this time?
Be kind and compassionate to yourself – remember to give yourself a break and that you are doing your best during a difficult situation. Remember we are all in this together.
Keep connected with others – Phone calls, video calls and zoom meet ups are great ways to have great conversations with friends, coworkers and family members.
Focus on the silver linings – It might not always feel possible, but perhaps there are some positives of the new situation you find yourself in. While we all want this to be over and no more people to suffer, you need to think back to your 2020 New Year resolutions before COVID-19 happened. Maybe you wanted to start a new hobby or be more active and healthier, start a journal or even learn how to cook or bake. With a few adjustments you’ll be able to fulfill that goal.
Practice switching off – As much as you may want to keep informed it is important to limit the amount of time you spend watching the news or scrolling through social media. Listening to music, taking up yoga, reading a book, going for a walk around your block are great ways to switch off and take a moment to breathe. Set boundaries for yourself.
Building resilience towards stress – Manage your expectations about what you can realistically achieve in a day. Just because we are seeing fewer people doesn’t necessarily mean we have more spare time. Sometimes self-care is all you can manage and that’s perfectly OK. Self-care and boundaries are not luxuries, rather they are necessities. You might like to try practising meditation or mindfulness, to help reduce emotional tension and stress, help gain focus, aid sleep and help calm you. There are a lot of good apps out there like Smiling Mind, Headspace Mindfulness and Calm.
With love and light, Nicole – Client Coordinator HCG