What can I do to stay mentally healthy?
- Practice good self-care: All the normal practices of good self-care continue to apply during the COVID-19 shutdown. It is important to eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly and practice relaxation techniques.
- Guard your thinking: Stress and anxiety are normal in these unsettled times, but the challenge is to keep a proper perspective on the level of threat and not let overly negative or overly scary thoughts hijack your thinking. Try to keep your thinking realistic and balanced.
- Approach – don’t avoid: When something is stressful or frightening, there can be a tendency to avoid it. The most helpful thing you can do with a challenge like this is to approach it – to work out some small but manageable steps you can take to tackle the problem. Starting small is OK and then gradually increase, as you get more confidence.
- Be careful with alcohol/drugs: There’s already evidence that Australians are drinking more alcohol during this lockdown. Drinking alcohol isn’t a good way to manage strong emotions and usually makes you feel worse.
- Stay connected to those who support and energise you: There are many ways to connect with family and friends, and it’s important to do so. The more you can stay connected, the better.
- Reach out for help: If you are really struggling, please don’t struggle alone: contact your GP, Lifeline or your local community-based mental health services. You can also get further help at our Centre for Emotional Health Clinic at Macquarie University.
In the video below, Dr John Burns from the Centre for Emotional Health and Department of Psychology at Macquarie University and Shore School, talks to teachers and educators about how to support their own mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch the video or download the tip sheet.
Content owner: Centre for Emotional Health Last updated: 14 May 2020 2:08pm