Some states in Australia look like they’re seeing the back of COVID-19. Other states, like Victoria, are not out of the woods yet. No matter what state you’re in or what your circumstances are, we’ve all been dealing with this situation for over three months. Here are our tips for staying resilient.
1. Get help, right now.
First up, if you’re feeling like you need immediate help or just want to talk to someone, don’t wait. There’s a lot of help you can access for free, either over the phone or through online chat.
Call the 24-hour hotline on 131 114, or chat online from 7pm to midnight here.
You can call Beyond Blue 24/7 on 1800 512 348. Don’t feel like calling? Chat online.
2. Manage your news.
When we spoke to tradies about how they were handling their mental health, the number one tip was avoiding too much news. Staying informed is important, but the 24-hour news cycle can quickly become overwhelming. And it’s not just traditional news — this goes for your social media feed as well.
3. Keep your friends close — but make time for yourself.
Physical distancing remains important in every state, and in Victoria we still can’t see our friends face to face. Stay in contact in other ways, like video calls, group texts, or quick phone calls.
But make sure you’ve got time for yourself as well. The days can feel just as busy, if not busier than pre-pandemic, with work, home schooling, and life admin. If you’re having trouble finding time, schedule it in the diary to make it official.
4. Being mentally healthy doesn’t mean being positive.
It’s exhausting and stressful to try to be positive, all day every day. This is an unprecedented and unpredictable time, so it’s perfectly natural to be feeling negative emotions. Being mentally healthy means maintaining perspective, making sure you don’t get into a spiral of negativity. There’s top minds worldwide working on a solution, and we’ve certainly overcome bigger challenges than COVID-19. Follow Mayo Clinic’s tips on how to manage stress here.
5. Build your toolbox.
We develop tricks and habits to take care of our physical health — stretching after a big job or going out and exercising. Try to spend some time building up your mental toolbox as well. We spoke to ex-AFL player Wayne Schwass, who’s doing some brilliant mental health education with PukaUp. His main tip was to look at your habits and lifestyle.
Reach out to your support network.
For more from Wayne, watch our full interview below.