In these uncertain and worrying times when we are trying to focus on keeping our hands clean, looking after our families and finding toilet rolls, we can forget we need to look after our mental health and wellbeing as well. To look after our families, be strong for our children and come through this crisis we HAVE to take care of ourselves as well as those around us.
Here are some simple things we can all do to strengthen our mental health every day!
1. Try to maintain perspective.
Remind yourself this is not a long-term problem and there will be an end to it. Be grateful for the things that you do have in your life. Perhaps make it a practise to write those things down every day. Get outdoors if you can, look at the sky, feel the grass under your feet and listen to the birds sing.
2. Find a healthy balance in relation to media coverage.
This means perhaps choosing one or two trusted media sources that you check once or twice a day rather than having a constant onslaught of media updates throughout the day.
3. Access good quality information.
Your friend on Facebook might have a theory on everything but make sure you access information from the right places. Check your government health website and follow instructions from there.
4. Try to maintain a practical and calm approach.
Approach each concern or worry with a practical solution. For example, if you are worried about running out of food, think about the meals you can make with the current contents of your pantry and fridge and write them down. Then, when you feel the anxiety grow you can go back to the list and calm your mind down, reminding yourself, ‘I am prepared’. If you are concerned about your children, spend time teaching them about their part to play, such as showing them how to wash their hands correctly. Each time we take a practical step towards solving one of our anxieties it can help to calm our minds and hearts.
5. Seek support.
Although there are many things we can do to strengthen our mental health, the most important one is accessing help. Acknowledge feelings of distress, activate your support network (there are lots of ways in which we can connect without seeing each other in person –phone calls, FaceTime someone, message them or even write a letter) and if you are having difficulties please seek professional support early.
These are not easy times and even the most relaxed and easy-going people can be suffering some level of anxiety around all of the constant change and fear. So, let’s look after each other, take the time to slow down, take a breath, make a plan, and take just one more step towards strengthening our mental health today.
We are all in this together!
MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING
Including anxiety, depression, distress, grief and suicide.
Ph: 13 11 14
Providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Ph: 1300 224 636
Beyond Blue supports information and support for everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
Suicide Call Back Service
Ph: 1300 659 467
Web: www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au (then login for Online Chat or Video Chat)
Nationwide service that provides 24/7 telephone, video and online professional counselling to people who are affected by suicide.
Ph: 1300 789 978
Mensline Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relational concerns.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national service for anyone experiencing emotional distress or dealing with suicidal thoughts. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 116 123
Samaritans is a UK based charity offering support to those in despair and who are facing suicidal thoughts.