The current global crisis that we all love to hate, Covid-19, may seem like a battle with a highly infectious virus - but seemingly, the real fight most of us are having is with our own sanity. Last year Victorians were plunged into one of the most strict lockdowns globally. As a result, the state found out in unison just how dangerous isolation can be.
With many arguing the efficacy of state-wide lockdowns, what is clear is that we may not have seen the end of them just yet. Despite the lighter side of lockdown pushing people towards new hobbies, the reality is that such a sudden change in routine can spell disaster for those with even the strongest of mental health.
Keeping “sane” is easier said than done, and there is no one task that will help you survive time spent in extended lockdown, but we have compiled five simple tasks to consider that will likely help you manage your mental health better.
A problem shared is a problem halved; we are social creatures by nature, and connecting with a friend or family member and discussing what you’re going through help to alleviate stress caused by too much of your own company. Make sure you check in on friends that live alone and don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones if you need someone to talk to.
The most significant disruption the Victorian lockdowns have had is to our daily routines. Despite how much we all hate Mondays, going into the office and following your morning ritual as you pour your cup of coffee and fire up your computer is a routine that keeps you sane. You may not have a very long commute now working from home, but having set times for when you get up from bed and take your breaks - even on weekends - can help maintain a sense of normalcy in such unprecedented times.
We have all heard it before, but the science doesn’t change: exercising is good for your mental health. It can be hard to find the motivation to do a full workout, but something as simple as trying to break a sweat with a quick home workout or just sticking to your step goals each day is sufficient to release enough endorphins and serotonin to keep your mind and body in check.
Given long enough time cooped up at home and the days will begin to blur into one. A great way to fight off that depressive feeling of monotony is to keep track of each day with a journal. Many, however, confuse journaling with the expectation of writing a short novel before bed, which of course, isn’t sustainable. Three quick paragraphs before bed are all you need to be able to take a brief account of the day. Make sure to note specific tasks and try to recall emotions felt through the day - remember, it’s just for you to read so you can be as honest as you like.
If you’re feeling like the time in isolation is starting to get to you, then don’t be afraid to speak to a professional. Even if you feel like you are coping, professional help should be seen as an exercise to keep your most important muscle, your brain, healthy, rather than as a cure for when something is wrong.
Cyber Clinic has made seeking online therapy easy with their Cyber Clinic app, allowing you to have video consults with professional mental health support. Once downloaded, you can perform a short quiz to help match yourself to the right therapist for you, plus you can take advantage of up to twenty Medicare rebatable sessions within the app.
Through this time of uncertainty and rapid change, there is no expectation to get through it without some hiccups along the way. So, whether you implement just one task in this list or all of them, find the balance that helps you feel okay and maintains a sense of peace and normalcy in your day-to-day life.
Feeling better starts by talking to someone. We give you access to online support that can help you feel better. Our therapists can help you manage problems with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, eating disorders, child counselling and much more.
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