Focus on forums: life during the coronavirus

Beyond Blue regularly publish a selection of personal reflections, concerns, questions and comments around a certain subject or theme, shared by community members on our online forums . Here, we focus on taking practical advantage of isolation and what our community members are doing in our Coping during the coronavirus pandemic forum.

Kim62 meditates

I find going outside and being in the fresh air helps. Also, try and remember all the self-help things you did before when you were recovering, and put them into practice again. It’s just a new journey, this too shall pass, and you will be strong again. It’s hard, I’m struggling too, but I take a deep breath, meditate and get outside in the yard. I listen to the birds, phone a friend, or write a letter.

Bef eats well and goes for a walk

To take care of myself, I am trying to eat well while still enjoying some treats now and then. I make sure I spend some time outside too. I’m also checking in on my friends and family to see if they need anything or someone to talk to.

ISleepy21 sends messages to friends

What helps me these days? It helps when friends share articles and entertainment suggestions. I like swapping links and articles to help keep myself distracted. It helps when buying groceries to focus on fruit and veggies because they are still plentiful. That way I can stop getting annoyed about the fact there's no milk in the supermarket. It helps to not watch the news too much. Send little care packages to friends and family – receiving them is nice too – and little check-in messages to keep some form of contact.

Summer Rose keeps tabs on her news intake

Only listening to two sources of reputable information is really helping me stay informed without getting confused. Catching up on the news once a day only helps to reduce the risk of feeling overwhelmed. I’m also doing all I can to maintain good hygiene and follow the public health measures, which also helps reduce my anxiety. Focusing on the facts helps keep things in perspective. Staying connected is vital too. Yesterday my girlfriend and I each made ourselves a coffee in our own homes and talked on the phone.

Summer Rose suggests:

  • Listing jobs to do around the house
  • Start writing
  • Develop a home gym program
  • Keep connected with others by phone

Andre_P takes one day at a time

I’ll keep it simple. Try not to succumb to fear and panic. Just take one day at a time (easier said than done). Try not to focus on what is out of your control. Use common sense and stay safe. Keep your mind busy in these times but don’t stress yourself out either.

Star_gaze reads and watches movies

I'm trying my best not to get upset, or anxious. I’ve returned back to my daily meditation routine, which I had neglected recently due to having to work really long hours and dealing with health issues. Now I find, more than ever, mental health is key. I know meditation takes practice, so it is not an overnight solution. I'm also trying to read more books, watch movies that I enjoy, keep active, and reduce work stress and long hours. I am more mindful of my mental struggles than ever before. I know I worry about my family's health, and it is normal to worry about that, especially when my own immune system is low. If my mind is well, my body will be too. While we need to social distance, and hugs aren't encouraged, I guess I'm settling for virtual hugs. Follow expert advice. Look after your loved ones always.

SapereAude suggests learning something new

These are trying times not only as Australians but as global citizens. Together we band as one, although we may be physically isolated. Continue to offer support, continue to offer ideas as to how to occupy time during quarantine or isolation, continue to offer hope and continue to be positive. Just as society has survived previous pandemics, wars and natural disasters, we will ride this out. Ever wanted to learn to draw? Or a new subject? Buy a new book. Develop a home exercise routine. Learn to meditate. We can collectively turn this negative in to a positive in some form or another. Don’t despair but show some care. Develop yourself and your loved ones. Take care.

The Beyond Blue online forums are a great way to connect with people online in a safe and anonymous environment. Discussion topics cover anxiety, depression, suicide and a range of other life issues. Anyone in Australia can participate in discussions, connect with others and share their experiences with our community.

Note that all names listed above are pseudonyms and that quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.

If you need assistance please visit the dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. Trained mental health professionals are available to talk to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via phone, webchat and email.

For immediate support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 and in an emergency, always call triple zero (000).

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