Switch off but stay informed
With all the constant news about COVID-19- it can feel overwhelming and stressful. Try not to be tempted into finding every bit of information and breaking news. Instead, try scheduling a time of day to tune into the news and stay informed, but remember to switch off afterwards.
There’s a lot of misinformation so stick to credible sources (such as health.gov.au or from the World Health Organisation website). You should also proactively limit your time on social media to avoid information overload. To help you navigate through all this information, we’ve created a newsroom blog to highlight the news relevant to job seekers: https://coact.org.au/coact-newsroom.
With all our digital devices it’s easy to stay connected with your friends and family while staying indoors.
Check-in with your mum by facetiming her or catch up with your friends over a group call. Connecting with each other while you’re isolated can help ease your stress.
If the constant notification tone gets overwhelming though, you can always set your phone to silent for some alone time.
Maintain a daily routine
It’s important to maintain a routine to your day, but to also add some variety.
Routine is particularly important for people with a mental health illness. It can be difficult to get used to this new normal, so start off small. For example:
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day
- Avoid sleeping in the day
- Try to get some sunshine to maintain your natural body clock in its normal rhythm
- Start an exercise or meditation routine
- Set a time to do something productive, whether it’s updating your resume or spending some time to network on LinkedIn
- Create a roster for chores. If you’re living with family or house mates, distribute the chores equally and fairly
- For people with illnesses, continue to take your medication and stick to your treatment plan
Exercising can give you a boost in endorphins and help you feel more positive.
It’s a great way to keep you both mentally and physically healthy. Exercising outdoors is still permitted, and there are plenty of ways for you to exercise indoors and outdoors. There are plenty of free workout apps and YouTube exercise routines.
To help you get started, here are some of our recommendations:
- Centr app by Chris Hemsworth is currently offering 6 weeks free – https://centr.com/join-us
- FitOn offers a Netflix-style service of exercise videos, perfect for beginners – https://fitonapp.com/
- IvanaExercise features a three-part exercise routine for people with intellectual and physical disabilities – https://www.youtube.com/user/IvanaExercise
- POPSUGAR Fitness features exercises for beginners, workout enthusiasts, and even for the entire family – https://www.youtube.com/user/popsugartvfit
Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t able to maintain your productivity.
Let yourself off the hook and wind down when you’re stressed. Engage in positive and relaxing media, whether that’s through a movie, listening to podcasts and music, or playing a video game or board game.
You should also not feel as if you must stay indoors all the time. While most non-essential shops and businesses are in lockdown, you can still go for a walk around the block or at the local park, or even in your own backyard (while staying 2 metres away from other people).
Spending time in nature and in the sun can give a boost to both your mental and physical health.
Don’t bottle your emotions
While you should try to limit conflict during these stressful times, sometimes it’s inevitable that your emotions can overwhelm you. Communicate about your worries and concerns and find support from the people around you.
When managing your emotions, you could try to practice gratitude and focus more on your positive thoughts.
Remember that you are doing your part to keep your community safe by self-isolating.
Find external support
Don’t feel like you must go at this alone.
Find external support by reaching out to support services such as Beyond Blue and Lifeline Australia if things become too much to handle.
- Lifeline Australia can be reached on 13 11 14, online live chat and text at 0477 13 11 14 (available 6pm – midnight AEST).
- Lifeline’s Sane Forums is a safe, anonymous online community for thousands of Australians to support each other and share their experiences.