Speak Up for Mental Wellness

When our minds are consumed by the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on our health, loved ones, home countries, economy and students not to mention our employment status, — how do we maintain our own mental health and well-being?

We should maintain our mental health because it affects how we think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects our ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships and recover from life’s hardships.

See tips and advice on how you can maintain your mental well-being and cope with how you may feel during this period. Make sure you get further support HERE if you feel you need it.

1.  Stay connected with others

Maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Stay in touch with friends and family by phone, messaging, video calls or social media – whether it’s people you usually saw often or reconnecting with old friends. It is important to connect with other people to seek and provide support.

2.  Talk about your worries

Public health emergencies are stressful times for everyone affected. It’s important to stay informed and to be kind and supportive to each other. Words matter and using language that perpetuates existing stereotypes can drive people away from getting the help they need. It’s normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation.

Remember: it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead. Find resources HERE

3.  Look after your body

Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns that end up making you feel worse. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking or drugs and try not to drink too much alcohol.

Stay hydrated and eat well.  Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods.

Children will also feel stress at this time. If you have children then spend time playing with them. Focus on strengthening your connection with them.  Follow their lead and play or talk.  Be sure to reassure them that you are taking care of them.

Going for a walk, run or bike ride is a great way to lift your mood and clear your head – Remember to stay at least 2 metres apart from others. Why not check out some of the videos from Sache Fitness on our Facebook page?

4.  Routine is your friend

Routine helps to manage anxiety and will help you to adapt more quickly to this current reality. Create clear distinctions between work and non-work time, ideally in both your physical workspace and your head space. Find something to do that is not work that brings you joy. Working in short bursts with clear breaks will help to maintain your clarity of thought.

5.  Be compassionate with yourself and with others

There is much that we cannot control right now, but how we talk to ourselves during these challenging times can either provide a powerful buffer to these difficult circumstances or amplify our distress. Moments of feeling overwhelmed often come with big thoughts, such as “I cannot do this,” or “This is too hard.” It’s only natural that this pandemic causes stress for many of us and we cannot be our best selves all the time. But we can ask for help or Speak Up when needed.

Give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone.  Try to avoid or let go of past arguments.  Try not to hold grudges. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.

6.  Carry On doing things you enjoy

If we are feeling worried, anxious, lonely or low, we may stop doing things we usually enjoy. Make an effort to focus on your favourite hobby if it is something you can still do at home. If not, picking something new to learn at home might help. There are lots of free tutorials and courses online, and people are coming up with inventive ways to do things, like hosting online pub quizzes and music concerts.

7.  Do not stay glued to the news

Try to limit the time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak, including on social media, and think about turning off breaking-news alerts on your phone. You could set yourself a specific time to read updates or limit yourself to checking a couple of times a day.