Do you feel that everything’s been changing around you?
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives – our work situation and finances, getting together with family and friends, education, shopping, exercising, going on holidays. And our mental health. If you feel you need support right now because you’re feeling unhappy, anxious or isolated, you’re not alone.
“Discussions and concerns around the coronavirus outbreak and practising self-isolation can be stressful and impact our mental health and wellbeing. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions, such as stress, worry, anxiety, boredom, or low mood. Many people feel distressed by the constant news and overwhelming amount of information about the situation.”Source: HeadtoHealth
Mental health tips
JNC brings you 4 main ways to support your mental health, with tips and links to check out.
1 Keep it calm
2 Stay connected
3 Keep healthy
4 Ask for help
Mental Health Tip 1: Keep it calm
JNC Covid-19 – Mental Health Support – Webcast #9 is a video that takes you through some of the exercises we refer to here.
Deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness – these are all ways to slow down, reduce your anxiety and feel more positive.
Try this breathing exercise
Practise mindfulness – you’ll find a useful explanation here.
Some free mental health tools
These tools help you develop mindfulness skills – at your own pace.
Mental Health Tip 2: Stay connected
Remember to keep in touch with family and friends. Make a phone call when you get a chance. Talk to your neighbour over the back fence. Write someone a letter. Just a simple hello will make someone else feel better – and you too
Connect with others who may be experiencing the same feelings that you are. Try for online forums where you can talk to others with similar experiences, and phone, chat, and email services, to talk to professionals.
Australian Red Cross has provided a useful guide for supporting others who are distressed by the great disruptions COVID-19 has brought to their lives.
Mental Health Tip 3: Keep healthy
Number one for staying healthy right now is keeping up physical distancing. COVID-19 is going to be around for a while, and social distancing saves lives.
Healthy eating is also important. Here’s a useful guide to staying healthy that you can personalise for you and your family. Try the NSW Government’s free Make Healthy Normal program
Exercise! Many studies have shown how just getting out there for a walk every day can make a big difference to how you feel. You may prefer or need to exercise at home, and that’s good too. Remember that exercise doesn’t just mean walking or running. You might like to try yoga, or tai chi. A JNC volunteer has created a set of tai chi exercises for you – watch it on YouTube at this link.
Mental Health Tip 4: Ask for help
It’s important to ask for help if you need it. There are many support services available for the community. JNC’s crisis services directory gives you details for contacting mental health support services, as well as other kinds of support.
If you feel you’re in a crisis, phone one of these numbers now.
Access more mental health services and websites here. And take care!