It’s safe to say that many of us wish that the lockdown was over. For a lot of people, the restrictions have caused unnecessary stress, ranging from their routine being disturbed, losing income, and feeling socially isolated and alone.
There is also the fear factor. A pandemic can cause anxiety, especially when there is the risk of loved ones becoming unwell. That said, while it can be an anxious time, there are also some strategies we can put in place to help with our mental health.
What you can do to boost your mental wellbeing:
It’s good to talk
You may not be able to connect with people in person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect online, over the phone or via Zoom. Your family and friends are in the same boat and would more than likely love the connection too. So, go ahead, have a meal with friends online, host an art class, do a workout together, or even cook a meal together on Zoom.
Get some fresh air
You’re allowed out for some daily exercise, so take advantage of that. An hour-long walk can do wonders for your sense of well-being. It boosts endorphins, and the fresh air on your skin can make you feel better inside and out.
Exercise is a known serotonin booster, and as little as 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise can make you feel so much better. Aim to get your heart rate up and you’ll feel a world of difference.
Food and mood are inextricably linked. Our diet can impact our mental health, so choose nutritious food, concentrating on a diverse range of macros and micros. Pop a multivitamin for an added measure to make sure you’re getting all that your body needs. Reduce caffeine and up your fluid intake so that you’re hydrated, meaning you’ll feel a whole lot less lethargic and restless.
Calming your anxious mind is important- there’s a range of free meditation tunes on YouTube. If you find yourself stressing before bed, have a listen and enjoy a wave of relaxation.
While these tips can help take the edge off a stressful time if you feel you’re unable to cope, reach out for support. Seek advice from your GP and they will point you in the right direction.
If you or anyone you know needs help:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- QLife on 1800 184 527
Author: Sarah Tottle (Mentor at Online Courses Australia)