The sudden shock of COVID 19 has not only been responsible for creating fear about the virus itself but has also elevated anxiety about what the future holds. Prolonged absences from family and friends, financial uncertainties and job prospects are just some of the issues preying on our minds at this time. But letting worries spiral in this way is unproductive. We are all getting better at understanding the importance of good mental health so, isn’t now the perfect time to build great wellbeing habits that will last beyond the current crisis?
Try these few simple AWARENESS ideas to get you kickstarted on a wellbeing regime that will last beyond the COVID crisis.
The first step to fixing any problem is to be aware of it. Acknowledging your mind needs as much attention as your body in keeping fit is the first step.
As you begin to treat yourself kindly, don’t forget to reach out to others. Is there an elderly neighbour or someone vulnerable nearby who would appreciate your help or just a conversation? Research tells us that acts of kindness benefit both the giver and the receiver – and help to build stronger communities too.
If you are the person who needs assistance, don’t be afraid to ask. Suffering in silence is one of the best ways to damage your mental health. There are numerous health lines listed below or contact Family Doctors Plus for help.
With many of our usual routines broken, create new ones, particularly if you find yourself with more free time than you are accustomed to. Think about the parts of your old routine that you have lost but value. Find ways to reinstate them in your new routine. Aim to start every day with a morning routine that kickstarts your day so you avoid idleness.
We are so fortunate to have the aid of technology to keep us connected. Video chats, Zoom meetings and the like are helping to keep us connected as human beings. But beware of getting too connected with the technology – using the medium to connect with each other is far better for our mental health than game playing or video watching! Remember to keep a healthy balance.
We are so fortunate in Australia that, apart from some unnecessary early panic buying, our shelves have been full of the clean, green produce we have become accustomed to. However, with delivery services booming it’s been tempting to eat more unhealthy takeaway food than usual. With the luxury of time, now is the perfect moment to get creative with your cooking skills and learn more about nutrition. Not only is the mental stimulation of planning, preparing and cooking very rewarding but so is eating the results.
We all know that exercise is essential for both physical and mental health. Not only does exercise make the brain produce feel-good chemicals, but it also rids you of the chemicals that make you feel depressed or anxious. A win-win situation. A simple, brisk, regular walk around your neighbourhood is free or there are numerous online yoga or exercises classes available.
Sleep is essential for physical and mental health so needs to be part of our routine. The pituitary gland, responsible for growth and repair is active when we sleep. Avoid too much napping or lounging which might disrupt your night sleep. Try some deep breathing, relaxation or meditation exercises if you are struggling to settle at night. Again, there are some excellent online resources to help.
We can only do so much. Worrying about what we cannot change is unnecessary and damaging to our physical and mental health so keeping stress to a minimum is essential. Take long, slow, deep breaths when anxieties arise. Try writing down your concerns, maybe in a journal, which helps shift stressful thoughts.
Make AWARENESS your mental wellbeing mantra and consider each of these steps each day. Finally, remember that we all need support at some time or other. If you are struggling in any way with your physical or mental health, help is only a phone call away at Family Doctors Plus. Do not hesitate to book in for telehealth or face to face consultation.