Words say "self care isn't selfish"

We are living in tough and trying times. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has had a profound impact on our day to day lives, and we are all experiencing heightened anxiety, confusion and isolation. It’s okay not to be okay.

This is an unprecedented situation. Never before have our civil rights ever been so restricted, even if it is for the common good.  Never before, in our lifetimes, have we faced such a global and widespread threat, on the heels of the most devastating bushfire season in Australian history. People with disability, their families and communities, are all hurting right now.

Many people have lost their jobs. We’ve been asked to make huge changes to the way we live, and for the most part, we have.
With some parts of Victoria going into 'lockdown' again since mid July, and other parts of the country such as NSW on 'high alert', it is taking an increased toll on people.
It is important to take care of yourself during this period of uncertainty and isolation from friends, family and community.

Stay connected

Stay connected with friends and family. Try Zoom or another video calling platform so that you can see and hear your friends and family. It is important to catch up, to talk and to listen to each other. If you would normally meet up with a few friends for a drink or a coffee, try to stick to that routine and make it a virtual catch up instead. Make a time to call someone on the phone, write a letter or send something through the mail.

Read our blog on Staying Connected in Isolation for more information.

Find things to do

If you are bored and alone, now is a great time to pick up that paintbrush or pen… read a book, find joy in baking or do a puzzle. We’ve got some great tips and activities to help you through your “Stay-cation” or self-isolation period. TAFE NSW has free short courses available, so why not try something new? Learning and improving your skills for re-entry to the workforce when all this subsides is a great way to use your time. The Victorian Government has made "Victoria Together" bringing together many online things to do.  Podcasts are another way to pass the time, there's no limit of topics of themes to explore.

Read our blog on Tips to get you through a Stay-cation or isolation for more information. 

Take it easy

Be kind to yourself. If you are trying to work from home, facilitate your child’s online learning as well as their emotional and physical wellbeing, all while trying to take care of other vulnerable people like older parents or grandparents who are self-isolating… know that you are doing the best you can and that you can’t do everything for everyone. Take some deep breaths, run yourself a hot bath or use an aromatherapy diffuser and some soft music to create a sense of calm. Mindfulness and relaxation can also helpful at times like these. Take some time away from the news or social media.

Still go outside

Exercise is still possible, even in lockdown areas people can still get out and go for a walk as long as they follow guidelines. Breathe the fresh air, see the sky. Exercise and physical activity is an important part of maintaining your mental health. Just 20 to 30 minutes a day… even if it’s just around the block. Just be sure to stay at least two big steps away from other people.

If you have a mobility-related disability, this can be challenging or impossible. Find creative ways to connect and engage with nature. If you have a garden, take a few turns around it. Sit on your verandah in the sun for ten minutes... if you can't get outside, bring outside in... open a window, bring a potted plant inside and care for it. 

Here's our Top Tips To Get Up, Get Moving And Get Healthy.

Resources

CID has made a great Easy English guide called Look after your mental health during Coronavirus.

You can read or listen to it here: Look after your mental health during Coronavirus (Easy English)

There's also these Self Guided Booklets developed to support people with mild to moderate learning/intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak. Produced by 3 Universities in Scotland, they have plenty of useful information no matter where you live.

Head to Health by the Australian Department of Health has a dedicated section on COVID-19 Support, which contains information and links to accessing digital mental health services from home. 

 

Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service

A new 24/7 support service specifically designed to help people through the COVID-19 pandemic is now available free of charge to all Australians.

The Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service has been developed by Beyond Blue to address the growing mental health impact of the pandemic, including fear about the virus, financial stress, family stress, anxiety and loneliness.

The service offers easy access to a broad range of practical supports from online wellbeing tips, self-help tools to phone counselling from trained mental health professionals and peer to peer support.

Get help

If you aren’t coping, it is important to get help. If life is in danger, call 000.

Contact

Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service - Beyond Blue

Phone: 1800 512 348
Web: coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au

Lifeline

Phone: 13 11 14
Web: www.lifeline.org.au
Between 6pm and midnight a text service is available too: 0477 13 11 14

MindSpot - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Phone: 1800 614 434
Web: https://mindspot.org.au/coronavirus

Plus IDEAS Information Officers can help you find whatever it is you need to take care of yourself at this time.
Phone: 1800 029 904


IDEAS does information so you can do life.