It is critical to understand that your emotional and mental health is very important during this pandemic, as a lot of emotions and uncertainty will be running through your mind and you may be feeling vulnerable. Those that are close to you like your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and the elderly may be dealing with increased levels of stress at this time. If you find yourself in self-isolation, or working from home, it is normal to feel stressed or lonely. However, there are some things you can do to make you feel better and not alone. Reach out to your usual support networks and talk to them about how you are feeling so that you can seek help and advice. Video calling can help to feel more connected. Some popular free applications include: FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp. Technology is an excellent tool to help communities stay connected.
Change can be an exciting or difficult time for people. It is important that when change happens and particularly significant change like this pandemic, that we try and maintain stability where we can in our lives. Below are some tips from a mentor of Will Allan, our Director. Will wanted to share these tips because it has helped him through the ups and downs of running Hello Monday. Like many business owners, he has faced and will now likely face more challenges in the coming months.
These suggestions are:
- Ensure you have structure in your day. Wake up super early and get ahead of everyone else. Focus on what you can get prioritised for the day.
- Take care of the hard tasks first. Deal with the toughest things at the start of your day. Don’t procrastinate, this leads to anxiety (Will knows about this well). Get up early and deal with the tasks that are heavy on your mind. You decide when you’re going to turn up the music.
- Take care of your mental health. Make sure your head is clear. Sleep well, eat healthy foods, exercise and add structure to your day. Hang out with people that are positive and uplifting. Leave the haters behind and minimise time on social media.
- Focus on the end goal by planning and keep your eye on accomplishing this. Have a plan and stick to it. Write things down and focus on completing them.
- Use pressure to create diamonds. Don’t let this pressure pull you down.
- If you are working from home use mini-breaks to do the laundry, vacuum, ironing, keep in touch with friends and colleagues, plan your meals etc. Do something creative like learning to play an instrument or trying out a foreign language.
- Tomorrow is another day to turn things around again – don’t allow the pressure to build up. If you don’t achieve it today, get up early tomorrow and get stuck in again.
Managing your mental health while in self-isolation or quarantine
We have identified a number of ways that could help your mental health if you find yourself in self-isolation or quarantine. These are useful tips for you to consider. Also, these tips can be applied if you are not in self-isolation or quarantine but just feel anxious as a result of this pandemic.
- Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus.
- Keep in regular contact with others.
- Follow regular routines like mealtimes, bedtime, and exercise. Focus on activities you find relaxing.
- If you are working from home, establish a dedicated work space, allocating specific work hours and taking regular breaks.
- Try to avoid news or social media if you find this too distressing as this can be overwhelming at times.
- Remember that we all must be diligent to help others in the community avoid contracting the virus.
If you feel that you are not coping very well, it is important to talk to a health professional for support. You can call or text 1737. This is free anytime 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to talk with a trained counselor. Importantly, don’t hold it inside. Do share, because a problem shared is a problem halved.