While Australian and New Zealand governments start to lift social distancing limits, our thoughts are with those in Victoria who are experiencing their second lockdown. As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to be felt, feelings of anxiety, restlessness and fear about the future may still linger. Indeed, it was estimated that in 2019, around 1 in 4 Australians experienced an episode of loneliness and, according to the General Social Survey in 2018, more than 650,000 New Zealanders have felt lonely in the past four weeks.
During these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever that we take care of our own mental health and wellbeing. With some of us still required to stay at home unless the activity is deemed essential, feelings of isolation and loneliness can continue to creep up on us unexpectedly. The good news is, there are plenty of ways that you can manage your mental wellness and keep a positive outlook while we continue to ride out this pandemic.
8 ways to manage your own personal wellbeing and mental health
- Go for daily walks/exercise: Many of us have sought relief from the pandemic by doing some form of daily exercise – let’s keep it up. Going outdoors for a brisk walk and being amongst nature for just 30 minutes a day can help clear your mind, allow you to refocus, and release those feel-good endorphins. There’s plenty of ways to exercise at home too. You can watch free instructional yoga videos on YouTube in your living room or use household items such as cans of food for weights. Personal trainers and other qualified fitness professionals have also moved their classes online, so you can join a virtual session to get your blood pumping and body moving.
- Separate work from play: While many of us are working from a makeshift office at home in the living room or kitchen, it can be difficult to draw a line between work and play. How can you truly forget about those due tasks when your laptop is staring at you every time you enter the kitchen? One of the ways that you can separate work from rest is to designate a room in your home that you can set up as your work desk. When the day is done, close the door to that room: out of sight, out of mind.
- Manage your exposure to social media: Endlessly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook are ways to combat boredom but they might not be doing much for your self-esteem. Instagram has an in-built service that shows you how much time you’ve spent on the platform. Set yourself a reminder to let you know when you’ve spent a certain amount of time on Instagram. And, when you’re tempted to reach for your mobile phone, reach for a book instead.
- Contact a loved one: Checking in on your family or friends over the phone when you can’t visit them is a great way to stay connected. If you’re a manager or owner of a business, ask about your staff’s wellbeing during your regular meetings.
- Set a daily routine: Having a routine that you stick to is beneficial for many reasons: it helps us prioritise self-care, anchors us and also helps us sleep. Setting a time to wake up and go to bed at similar times each day is a little win for anyone looking to feel more in control. It’s also the little things, like getting up and having a shower. If you’re attending a meeting via video conferencing, ensure you are ‘dressed for the office’.
- Pick up a hobby: With more time on our hands than ever before, this is the perfect opportunity to go back to those things that gave us enjoyment before ‘life’ got in the way. Whether it’s painting, learning a language online, or even baking, there’s no greater joy than keeping our minds occupied with the things we love.
- Maintain perspective: At the end of the day, understand that this time is unique and that we are all in this together. By keeping a positive mindset, you may even see some benefits to this unusual period.
- Take time to rest: This unusual and challenging time offers some of us the opportunity to pause, and for many of us, our busy work schedules have resumed. Where possible, we should embrace the opportunity to rest and energise, as we progress through the COVID-19 recovery phase.
Help for managing mental wellbeing
At Bentleys, we understand the feelings of concern and anxiety that you may have at this time, especially if you are responsible for a team of staff members. There are good quality support services available to you and your team members, some of which include:
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
- Gambling Helpline 1800 858 858
- Alcohol Drug Helpline 1300 858 584
In New Zealand:
- Lifeline 0800 543 354
- Depression Helpline 0800 111 757
- Care New Zealand, alcohol and drug helpline 0800 787 797
We, at Bentleys, are doing everything we can to help businesses come out of this challenging time in good shape.
We will continue to update our COVID-19 resource hub with important developments, so please return soon.
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and should not be relied on as advice. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs and seek professional advice before making any decisions based on this information.