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Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so it’s important not to neglect it during the developing Coronavirus pandemic.

During times of crisis, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the endless stream of information and news headlines. Finding balance while staying informed during these times is essential.

Here are a few tips to help you:

Read trustworthy news sources

Remember anyone can publish anything online, but it doesn’t necessarily make it true. Seek information from authorised and reputable sources during health emergencies eg. The World Health Organisation (who.int) , the Australian Government Department of Health (health.gov.au) and the Queensland Government Department of Health.

Set news limits

Because news is everywhere, it’s hard to switch off. If you feel yourself becoming preoccupied by it, you could set reasonable limits by:

  • Starting your day by reading a book or going for a walk instead of checking the news or your social media news feed.
  • Try to avoid checking the news before going to bed
  • limiting how many times and how much time you spend checking the news each day
  • This is a big one…BUT consider deleting your social media apps, turning off notifications or you can download an app that helps you limit social media use (if you’re having trouble setting your own limits)

Don’t forget to read good news stories too; there’s still a lot of good happening in the World, reading positive news can help give us a sense of balance.

Do activities you love and that help support your mental wellbeing;

Be kind to yourself, accept your feelings, connect with others, don’t forget to laugh often to release those ‘feel-good’ hormones and improve optimism. Remember a healthy lifestyle supports mental health too; so eat well, keep active and get enough sleep.

Try to keep perspective; remember we have more knowledge and better technology than any point in history to handle this crisis.  Focus on what is within your control and what you can do.

Seek help; most people will feel some distress during a crisis – this is normal, and usually resolves naturally within a matter of days or weeks. If you’ve taken steps to support your mental wellbeing, but are still experiencing feelings of stress, worry or just ‘not like your normal self’, it’s important to talk to someone like a family member, friend, colleague or see your GP or a mental health professional.

Keeping a social distance?

During a time when we are being asked to ‘socially distance’ from one another, it’s important we look at what that really means.

Social distancing is introduced as a way to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people. That means not using handshaking as a greeting, staying 1.5 metres away from each other as much as possible. It means limiting kissing, hugging and face touching. It is also encouraged that you spend time outdoors and consider whether outings and travel, both individual and family, are sensible and necessary. This is physical distancing not social distancing. It is encouraged during this time that you regularly pick up the phone and call loved ones, and find other ways to really connect with those in your life.

If you are experiencing difficulties through COVID-19 and social isolation, please contact;

Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 13 11 14

Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ 1300 22 4636

Kids Helpline https://kidshelpline.com.au/  1800 551 800.

The Queensland Government Department of Health has released 10 tips for looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It’s a great resource to read and has plenty of useful tools and links to help you during this time. They have also released additional information on how to look after your mental wellbeing in a crisis. 

Take care of yourselves and your family, we’re thinking of you.