For Professor Nick Titov, the impact of COVID-19 on our mental health is clear in the number of Australians logging into MindSpot, the digital mental health clinic where he is Founding Executive Director.
“Mindspot is currently servicing 600 new users across Australia every week,” he says. “We’re dealing with a high level of uncertainty with COVID-19, and we know a lot of people living in lockdown are jaded and tired, which can affect our motivation and our confidence that things will Improve.”
The good news is, there are simple things we can do to improve our psychological health, which Professor Titov shared with staff in the University’s R U OK? Day webinar earlier this month.
“Of course, the challenge is to remember to do them,” he says. ‘When we’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, we often forget to do the basics – the things that really help.”
In the webinar, Professor Titov shared the findings of MindSpot’s ‘The Things You Do’ research project, which identified 100 things people can do to stay psychologically healthy and surveyed 6000 people to find which were most effective.
“We found five key groups of actions which – when done at least three times a week – were strongly associated with good psychological health, including lower depression and anxiety, and higher satisfaction with life.”
Five things you might need to be doing more of
Allowing yourself to be less than perfect.
Treating yourself with respect.
Stopping yourself from thinking unhelpful or unrealistic thoughts.
Doing something very satisfying to you.
Doing something enjoyable.
Doing something you believe in.
Goals and Plans
Setting realistic and achievable goals.
Doing something to help you achieve your goals.
Making a plan and sticking to it.
Going to bed and waking up at a regular time.
Keeping a healthy daily routine.
Preparing and eating a healthy meal.
Socialising with positive people.
Having a meaningful conversation with someone.
Talking about your day with a friend or family member.