Managing mental health and wellbeing

Monday, May 18, 2020

Mental health and wellbeing

With heightened COVID-19 restrictions now in place for Victorian residents, these added restrictions have brought on associated challenges and consequently impacted the mental health and wellbeing of many.

During this challenging time, it is important that we remain patient with ourselves and with others. As we follow these new restrictions, managing our mental health and wellbeing is critical to getting through this period.

Mental health and wellbeing strategies

Having some strategies in place can help, so find what works best for you as we navigate through thus time.

Exercise regularly

Many of us may find regular exercising slipping off our daily to-do lists. But exercise isn’t just about being physically active (although that’s important too); research from the Black Dog Institute has found that as little as an hour a week of exercise can be highly effective at fighting depression.

If you’re a regular exerciser, you’re probably familiar with the endorphin rush and subsequent improved mood you often experience after a workout. That’s because exercise provides a wide range of mental health benefits, from building coping and resilience to distracting from negative thoughts and improving memory and sleep.

The good news is, you don’t have to exercise for long to start reaping the mental health benefits. According to a 2017 study led by the Black Dog Institute, regular exercise of any intensity can prevent future depression, regardless of your age or gender.

Take it slow

It will probably take some time to find a new rhythm as restrictions ease or change over the coming weeks and months. It’s okay to take it slow and be patient with yourself as you get used to the changes. Don’t feel like you have to rush out and visit family and friends immediately simply because you can. Adjust to life in your own time and tweak things when it feels comfortable to do so.

Acknowledge your feelings

This year has brought some unprecedented changes to all our lives. While we are now able to move about with more freedom, it is not unusual to have a range of feelings to deal with. Many of us could be feeling anxious or fearful of going back into the community, while others may be experiencing depression or worry about a range of issues including employment, health, family or money.

Look after yourself

Continuing to take care of yourself is important when managing your mental health. As well as regular exercise, adequate quality sleep is paramount and ensuring your diet is balanced and includes fruit and vegetables. Aiming to incorporate these three things into your day can go a long way to support your wellbeing. Create a daily schedule that includes self-care so there’s always time for your health.

Do things you enjoy

Carve out time to pursue the things that make you happy. Perhaps it’s playing a musical instrument, doing yoga, reading, photography, playing video games — whatever makes you feel good. Allowing space for the things you enjoy can lift your mood and give you a much-deserved break.

Reduce your media consumption

Staying up to date is good, but it’s important to give yourself a break from the news, especially when if it causes you to feel anxious or overwhelmed.

Seek out support

Help is here if you need it. If your mental health is suffering, chat to your doctor about a mental health plan. There are also a number of organisations who can help to support you in managing your wellbeing during this difficult time:

    • Lifeline Australia –  Provide access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
      Website: www.lifeline.org.au Telehone: 13 11 14
    • Beyond Blue – Provides information, and support for depression, anxiety and suicide prevention.
      Website: www.beyondblue.org.au Telephone: 1300 224 636
    • Headspace – Provides young people with information and resources on mental health, physical health, work and study support, and alcohol and other drug services.
      Website: www.headspace.org.au Telephone: 1800 650 890
    • 1800 Respect – Provides 24 hour support to people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.
      Website: www.1800respect.org.au Telephone: 1800 737 732
    • Mindspot – Provides free effective internet delivered psychological assessment and treatment for stress, anxiety, worry, depression, low mood, OCD and trauma (PTSD).
      Website: www.mindspot.org.au Telephone: 1800 614 434
    • Kids Helpline – Provides private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
      Website: www.kidshelpline.com.au Telephone: 1800 55 1800
    • National Debt Helpline – Helps people tackle their debt problems.
      Website: www.ndh.org.au Telephone: 1800 007 007

 

For information about additional organisations, resources, and online mental wellbeing apps, please visit our mental health resources page for contact details.

 

We’re here to support our learners and clients during this time, if you have any questions please contact us!

 

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