During a period of high stress and pressure it can be hard to know what to do. Current news and updates of COVID-19 in WA can impact people in different ways, and some people may be feeling heightened stress and anxiety.
It’s important to take care of yourself by using strategies that help you to manage your stress levels and responses. The following tips can help guide you through this difficult time.
Is COVID getting you down?
News or updates on COVID-19 can sometimes feel overwhelming, so it's important that you take care of yourself. Here are some signs you might be stressed or anxious.
- Being short-tempered or irritable
- An upset stomach
- Sleeping difficulties
- A lack of concentration
- Feeling run down
- Tension in your jaw, or shoulders or other parts of your body
- Fatigue or extreme tiredness
- Rumination or racing mind
- Feeling worried, fearful or uneasy
- Finding it difficult to relax and be calm
Limit your exposure to the news. Stay updated, mindfully!
It’s recommended you monitor news you’re exposing yourself to, as well as when and how much. Set boundaries around the amount of time you check the news, such as 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Avoid watching the news before sleep as this can interrupt your ability to fall asleep or sleep soundly. Remember to take care that you are getting your information from reliable sources.
Keep to your routine
During times of change, it’s important to keep your routine the same, or as similar as possible to maintain structure in your day. If you’re working from home or the office, set boundaries around the time you begin work, have breaks and finish your day.
If you’re not working, try to plan your day to maintain or rebuild a sense of purpose and structure. You can stick to your routine by scheduling your tasks for the day, such as connecting with friends and family, doing chores, as well as leisure time.
The current COVID situation in WA means people may be more at risk of feeling lonely or isolated. It’s important to spend time talking with friends and loved ones who will be able to provide you with connection and support. Even if you can’t meet face-to-face you can still maintain your relationships by jumping online to chat, or on the phone.
Keep things in perspective
During times of anxiety and stress, we’re more likely to focus on the negatives. Try to remind yourself that the current situation is temporary. Also remember that as a community we are all in this together, and we may use this time to strengthen our relationships (albeit from a distance) with family, friends and neighbours.
During uncertain times it’s important to continue to exercise where possible to benefit your mental health. When and where you exercise is up to you, as long as you do it in a COVID safe way. An outdoor walk or jog keeps us in touch with nature. Even just a 10-minute walk each day can have a positive impact on your mood and re-energise you.
Rest and relaxation
Focusing on self-care to look after your mental health has never been more important.
- Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
- Take regular work or study breaks during the day.
- Try to take 5 to 10 minute breaks each hour to switch off from screens or smart devices and do something calming and relaxing.
- There are less formal ways to relax, such as listening to music, going for a walk, having a gentle stretch or drinking a glass of water.
Connect for Mental Health
Are you concerned about someone you know?
Perhaps you don’t know how to reach out and talk to someone who may need support during this time. Our free online training tool, Connect for Mental Health, is designed to give you the confidence and tools to start a conversation and how to respond to what they say.
If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed by the current situation and would like some support, our counsellors are here for you. We’re continuing to deliver services face-to-face, however if you would prefer to make alternative arrangements via phone or online please let us know.