Ways to look after your mental health amid the coronavirus pandemic
This article is adapted from a piece previously published on Beyond Blue’s website.
There are a number of different ways that people can manage their wellbeing.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on all facets of society. It's crucial that people take a practical approach to dealing with COVID-19.
Try to maintain perspective
While it is reasonable for people to be concerned about the outbreak of coronavirus, try to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts around the world are working hard to contain the virus, treat those affected and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.
Find a healthy balance in relation to media coverage
Being exposed to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety. While it's important to stay informed, you may find it useful to limit your media intake if it is upsetting you or your family.
Try to maintain a practical and calm approach
Widespread panic can complicate efforts to manage the outbreak effectively. Do your best to stay calm and follow official advice, particularly around observing good hygiene habits. The Australian Psychological Society has advice about maintaining positive mental health during the outbreak.
Try not to make assumptions
To contribute to a sense of community wellbeing, try to remember that the coronavirus can affect anyone regardless of their nationality or ethnicity and remember that those with the disease have not done anything wrong.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed by news of the outbreak. We encourage people who have experienced mental health issues in the past to:
- activate your support network
- acknowledge feelings of distress
- seek professional support early if you’re having difficulties.
For those already managing a mental health issue, continue with your treatment plan and monitor for any new symptoms.
Social contact and maintaining routines can be supportive for our mental health and wellbeing. In circumstances where this is not possible, staying connected with friends and family online or by phone may assist. Beyond Blue also has a dedicated page on its forums about coping during the coronavirus outbreak.
Acknowledge feelings of distress and seek further professional support if required.
Beyond Blue has fact sheets about anxiety and offers other practical advice and resources at beyondblue.org.au . The Beyond Blue Support Service offers short term counselling and referrals by phone and webchat on 1800 512 348.