Looking after yourself during COVID-19

Many people are now working from home to help stem the tide of COVID-19. While this measure is both reasonable and necessary, it does present us as a community with numerous challenges, not least of which is how to stay sane when only essential excursions outside the home are allowed.

With this in mind, we have compiled a list of tips and resources to help get you through the next few months.

  1. Have a schedule. Even if you don’t have as much to do as you normally would, keeping to a routine helps you be in control of your behaviour and has benefits for mental health. The CSIRO have a list of ways to help you adapt to new restrictions.
  2. Make time to exercise. Physical activity not only has physical health benefits, but also releases feel-good neuro-chemicals to improve your mood. An added bonus is that outdoor exercise can help boost your vitamin D levels.
  3. Do things you enjoy. This seems obvious, but doing things you enjoy and don’t often get to do, like reading a book for fun, playing an instrument, or going for a walk are a great use of free time, and help improve your mood. It’s also a good time to start a new hobby that you can do indoors to help you feel productive when stuck at home.
  4. Connect virtually. We are lucky to be so well connected, with friends and family just a video call away. You might have to be physically distant, but that doesn’t have to mean you aren’t connected.
  5. Look after your mental health. New restrictions on social gatherings can make people feel isolated and lonely, having negative impacts on mental health. This is completely normal, and there are things you can do to help build emotional resilience in difficult circumstances.
  6. Finally, remember this won’t last forever, and staying home helps keep you and those you care about safe.

If you are feeling distressed or anxious, you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 for support.

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