Did you know that 1 in 5 Australians are affected by mental illness? During this extraordinary time when Covid-19 is impacting across the globe, even those who don’t usually experience anxiety, might also be feeling unsettled.
The destructive and devastating bushfires and floods hailed the start of 2020 in a way many people will never forget. Covid-19 is now is now reaching into their lives and everyone else’s and affecting our place of work, social gatherings, where and how we exercise, when and how we shop and so much more.
We’ve had to adjust to:
- Changes in work – maybe working from home and its effects on family life, having to let go of staff as a business owner, losing your job or being under more stress from your job.
- Keeping our families and children safe – Deciding whether or not to send them to school, adjusting to home schooling while working from home.
- Finding other ways to connect and socialise – Using Facetime or Zoom to connect with colleagues, friends and family.
- Missing birthdays and milestones – Having to cancel weddings, unable to attend funerals of loved ones or even missing special birthdays.
- Trying to keep healthy at home – for many, going to the gym or practicing yoga with others is a regular ritual for both mind and body. Now we are trying to stay healthy by trying to find some movement in our day whilst juggling everything else.
It’s so important to know where you can seek help but it’s also important to know how to prioritise your mental health during this time.
Here are our top tips for maintaining your mental health at home:
FINDING MOVEMENT WHERE POSSIBLE
Find ways to move your body during this time. This could be getting some fresh air by walking the dog or practicing yoga or light stretching on the floor of your living room. Try to maintain some regular movement and exercise whilst you’re at home.
REST AND REPLENISH
Sleep plays a big part in every aspect of our lives but can also have a great impact on our Mental Health. Without restful sleep, we can feel exhausted and irritable which in turn could impact our relationships at work, with family and with friends. Long term sleep deprivation can affect your mental health, your physical health, your safety and your overall quality of life. A lot happens when you are asleep to support your good health. In children and teens, sleep is essential for growth and development.
News about Covid-19 seems to be playing on a continuous news loop and for many, it’s the first thing we hear or see when we wake in the morning, and the last at night. This can cause many of us to start our day with feelings of worry, unease and anxiety.
Instead of switching on the TV first thing in the morning, develop a practice of 10 minutes of mindfulness to help calm your mind.
Mindfulness is about bringing attention or awareness to the present moment. This is a universal human capacity and can be fostered in the very young or refined as an adult. If you’re busy worrying about the future or rehashing events of the past, mindfulness will help to settle your worry and anxiety.
Petrea’s Coming to Your Senses is a great practice to do wherever you are in your day.
Also, taking the time to meditate each day can help bring you into the present moment and also quiet the chatter in your mind. A few minutes in the morning each day can completely change your mood and how your day will play out.
If you find it difficult to meditate, Petrea’s guided meditations can be purchased from our Shop.
NOURISH YOUR BODY
To help maintain your mental health, it’s also important to fuel your body with nourishing foods. Make a delicious home cooked meal and try to order from local producers where possible.
If you need some inspiration, Petrea’s Food For Life has some easy and nourishing recipes for the whole family to enjoy.
If you’re feeling exhausted from your day, support a local cafe or restaurant and order a nourishing take-away soup instead. You won’t have to spend the extra time cooking and they will appreciate your help in keeping their business running during this time.
SETUP A REGULAR VIRTUAL CATCH UP
Find someone you can talk to regularly who will listen without judgement.Our mental health can be affected when we bottle things up instead of talking to someone about them. During this time, as we’re unable to connect with others in physical social gatherings, set up a regular call on Facetime or Zoom to stay in touch.
SETTING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
While connecting with others is important, try not to let the phone, social media, email or video conferencing overwhelm you.
For some people, being expected to always be available or being on the phone can cause feelings of anxiety. If this sounds like you, try to limit your time on the phone or have designated hours where you completely switch off.
DECLUTTER YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Especially if you’re working from home, create an inspiring and clean environment for you to work from. If there is a lot of clutter and chaos in your work-space, that’s exactly how you’ll feel when you’re trying to do your work.
PLAN YOUR DAY
Putting a plan in place for your day can help ensure you complete your daily tasks and stop the feeling of being overwhelmed and out of control. Plan your day by the hour, schedule in times for meditation, breakfast, chores, work, exercise and time with the family.
START A NEW HOBBY
Find a hobby that is just for you, something that really makes you feel good. Learn a new language, play an instrument, learn to paint. Find a creative way to express yourself. Learning something new and focusing on another goal will also help you stay in the present moment.
READ A BOOK
Reading a book or listening to personal development books or podcasts is a great way to prioritise your mental health. There are so many tools and techniques available that could help you learn more about yourself and how to manage the days which are more difficult. One of those techniques for example might be meditation.