Looking after your mental health during COVID-19

With COVID-19 now a global pandemic, anxiety and stress levels may be higher than normal for many people while we hear how the world is dealing with the overwhelming health and economic impact of COVID-19.

There’s so much uncertainty around what’s going to happen with COVID-19 that people are understandably feeling anxious.

Jobs may be at risk, elderly family members are vulnerable, and many of us are now forced to change our daily routines. What’s more, we’re constantly flooded with news, statistics, and fresh emergency guidelines, and it’s mentally draining for everyone.

So, how do we combat all this stress and stay calm?

1. Practice self-care. With so much beyond our control right now, focus on what you can control. Get more sleep, read a new book, have a warm bath, or take a walk somewhere quiet – whatever you do, now is the time to prioritise your well-being.

2. Limit social media use. Set limits on how often you use social media, especially when you’re at home where it’s tempting to check in more often. Don’t let a constant stream of tweets, status updates, and conflicting opinions overwhelm you.

3. Read only reliable news sources. Stay informed by reading only reliable sources, such as the Ministry of Health (MoH), World Health Organisation (WHO) and New Zealand Government COVID-19 websites. Other news sources may be less accurate, and they may cause feelings of panic and concern.

4. Talk it out. Acknowledge any stress or anxiety you’re feeling right now and ask others how they’re coping. Talk to family and friends, and make sure you check in with how your kids are feeling.

5. Reach out to colleagues. Now is the time for colleagues to come together. Focus on maintaining positive morale at work, and don’t be afraid to ask for support when you need it.

TEAM WORK - “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.” - Henry Ford