Uncertainty and navigating the new normal
Drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic have challenged us all during 2020, so it’s not usual that many people are experiencing heightened levels of anxiety.
Whether it is worries about health, uncertainty about employment, or distress caused by social disruptions – these feelings are valid.
For many people, working conditions or income have been impacted. These and other issues, can have a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing. For those with pre-existing physical or mental health concerns, public health crises can be especially challenging.
Additionally, many of the things that people find enjoyable, and which contribute to their wellbeing, are limited such as sports, hobbies and social gatherings.
Physical and mental health, employment stability and social connection are all linked to overall wellbeing. This is why it’s important to remember that by taking some simple steps, we can take control of our mental health and wellbeing, which in turn supports our ability to care for those around us.
To help navigate this period of uncertainty we have put together our top tips to help you stay focused during this time of challenge.
- Stay alert, not alarmed. By following social distancing and sanitation guidelines you will support your own health and the broader community response.
- Limit exposure to media coverage. Avoid being overwhelmed by negative media stories. Consider accessing media less frequently, and sticking to reliable sources with proactive messages.
- Look after your physical health. Ensure you have a healthy diet, good water intake, plenty of rest, and enough exercise to benefit overall wellbeing and lift moods.
- Practice self-care. Do things that make you feel good and rejuvenate your body and mind. Give yourself a positive break.
- Think of the good. Remind yourself of the good in the world, read positive stories, set goals for the future and minimise negative self-talk.
- Stay connected. Keep up conversations and check in with others as this can be a positive boost for all. Messages, online forums and phone calls all count, and as restrictions ease, make the most of new opportunities to connect safely with friends and family.
We can all feel supported by discussing concerns, staying connected, focusing on positives, and taking care of both physical and mental wellbeing, but if you need to talk, you can catch an OzHelp support worker during business hours on 1300 694 357 (9am- 5pm, Mon – Fri, AEST)
National crisis support lines are also available 24/7.
- Lifeline: 13 11 14, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Lifeline Text: 0477 13 11 14, 6pm – midnight (AEDT), 7 nights a week
- Kids Helpline: for children that may need support, 1800 55 1800 https://kidshelpline.com.au
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636, https://beyondblue.org.au
You can download a PDF Factsheet on this topic here