It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after an event such as the COVID-19 Pandemic. Taking care of your emotional health during this time will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family.
Take the following steps to cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic:
- Take care of your body: Try to eat healthy balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
- Connect with others: Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system.
- Take breaks: Make time to practice self-care and unwind. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try taking in deep breaths and do activities you usually enjoy.
- Stay informed: Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities, avoid looking towards social media as a source of information.
- Avoid too much exposure to news: Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
- Set a strict schedule: It can be hard to switch-off from work, so it is important to clearly define your working hours, ensuring you have regular breaks. Disconnect from all work-related accounts (e.g., remote desktops, email) at the end of your working day to help maintain a clear boundary between your work and home life.
- Limit distractions: Being at home can mean you can be easily distracted by other people or tasks (e.g., household chores). Schedule set times where you can take a break from work to complete these tasks, rather than completing them randomly throughout the day where you can lose track of time.
- Seek help when needed: If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, healthcare professional or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Look out for these common signs of distress:
- Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
- Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images.
- Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
- Worsening of chronic health problems.
- Anger or short-temper.
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.