The coronavirus pandemic has hit all of us hard. We’re living in a time of uncertainty, and going through a massive shift in the way we live, work and study.
During times like this, it can be easy to get sucked into reading the constant barrage of updates, which can have a hugely negative impact on our mental health and productivity. So, now more than ever, it’s important that we’re looking after ourselves and each other. SANE Australia CEO Jack Heath offered some tips on how to maintain a sense of wellbeing during these difficult times, and based on that, here are our highlights:
1. Choose your news carefully
It’s normal (and important) to stay up to date with what’s going on, and with the latest advice from the government. But be selective with what you read, and how often. Choose an official, government source like coronavirus.vic.gov.au in Victoria, and avoid getting too caught up in social media and opinion.
2. Learn something new
With many of us now working from home and going into self-isolation, it’s easy to lose motivation or get sucked in to thinking solely about the unfolding pandemic. Instead, why not learn something new? We’ve recently made our online learning platform, Lumin, free to use – so you can access a bunch of communications courses, from wherever you are.
3. Stay in touch
If you are at home, make the effort to reach out to people. Isolation can be hugely challenging, but remember – we’re all in this together! Call your mum, Facetime your friend, set up a Google hangout with your workmates – they’ll be grateful you did.
4. Keep a schedule
If you are working from home, try to stick to a regular schedule as much as you can. If you can maintain some degree of normalcy – by waking up at the same time, starting work when you usually would, making time to have a regular lunch break – you’ll be better off for it.
5. Reach out
Finally, reach out if you need to. This is a hugely challenging, unprecedented time. If it is becoming too much, and you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to someone. Reach out to a friend, family member or a mental health professional – even if you are in isolation, you aren’t alone. There are plenty of people out there to talk to. The SANE Australia Help Centre and online Forums are a great place to start.