Take care of your mental health

With the changes to our lives and routines as a result of the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, many of us face new realities and find ourselves facing huge changes.

From working from home, to home-schooling children, limiting physical proximity with others and getting used to many measures in place to protect yourself and others, many people have been experiencing a lot of stress, anxiety and even fear.

As we all take extra precaution to avoid exposing ourselves and others to the COVID-19 virus, it’s important to not only look after your physical health, but your mental health too.

The World Health Organization has put together some tips and advice that might be useful to help maintain your mental health:

  • Keep informed: follow the advice and recommendations from your government and official authorities. Follow trusted news channels and follow social media accounts you can rely on to be trustworthy.
  • Have a routine: stick to a routine as much as possible
    • Go to bed and wake up at similar times each day
    • Eat healthy, nutritious meals at regular times
    • Stay active
    • Maintain your personal hygiene
    • Allocate time for working and time for resting
    • Make the time to do things that you enjoy and to practice your hobbies and passions
  • Minimise newsfeeds: reduce how much your watch, read or listen to news that could make you feel anxious or distressed. Update your self with the latest information at specific times of the day, one or twice a day if needed, and avoid a constant onslaught of information.
  • Maintain social contact: social distancing does not mean not staying in touch and regular contact with those close to you by telephone or through online means
  • Screen time: keep track of how much time you spend in front of screens each day and remember to take frequent breaks
  • Social media: use your accounts to promote positive and hopeful messages rather than spread fear or alarm, correct misinformation when you see it, and follow only reliable sources you trust and those that encourage you to stay healthy and positive
  • Meditate: try simple meditations or breathing exercises to help you relax and keep you grounded

Remember, we are all in this together. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a breath and get in touch with someone you trust to talk about how you feel. You are not alone!