As millions of Australians find themselves in lockdown, mental health experts are reminding people to take steps to look after their wellbeing and to reach out for help if they need it. There are a number of different ways to manage your mental health. Here are a few:
- Maintain a good sleep routine. Your brain needs to regenerate after periods of stress, and it does this while you sleep! Aim to go to bed at the same time every night and get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Take time out to exercise. Exercise is the body’s natural antidepressant! Find what works for you and keeps you motivated to get active. Start small and work your way up. Make the most of the sunshine and go for a walk during lunchtime, or before work.
- Stay connected. While you may not be able to socialise face-to-face right now, stay connected via phone or video-calls. If you’re feeling stressed, talk it out with a friend or colleague. Debriefing with someone releases the stress hormone oxytocin.
- Manage your news feeds. The average smartphone user checks their device 221 times a day 95%of people use their tech in bed. If you are finding yourself becoming anxious every time your phone “dings”, turn off the notifications for news or why not do a social media detox?
- Practice creativity and mindfulness. Mindfulness matters…whether you try yoga, meditation, colouring-in, creating something, or just reading…staying present in changing times helps rest and repair.
- Speak with an expert. Sometimes getting expert advice is what we need to get through this next period. Ask your GP for a referral to speak with a professional and encourage your family to do so too if needed.
As we navigate through this lockdown and period of uncertainty, prioritise your wellbeing to help you get through this next period with your mental health intact. If you are struggling, reach out to an expert for support. You can call Lifeline support at 13 11 14.