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25 August 2021

Seven Tips to Look After Your Mental Health During the Pandemic

Have you checked in on your mental health? During this challenging time it’s especially important to look after your mental health and overall wellbeing.

In the lead up to R U OK Day on Thursday, 9 September 2021, here are seven simple tips to assist you with looking after your mental health during the pandemic.

1. Keep Physically Active

Keeping physically active is great for your mind and body. Leaving your home to exercise outdoors is a great way to get fresh air and feel more energised. Exercise regularly and choose activities that you enjoy. This could be walking, jogging, yoga or an indoor workout - any activity that makes you feel good. There are also many free exercise and yoga videos online on YouTube.

2. Eat Healthy Nutritious Food

Eating healthy food is very important or our mental and physical health - as they say "you are what you eat". Eat lots of different fruits and vegetables and other foods high in fibre such as brown rice, oats, wholemeal breads, lentils and beans. Limit unhealthy snacks and drinks which are high in sugar, unhealthy fats and salt. Unhealthy snacks leave less space for the healthy foods you need to boost your mood, energy levels, digestion, and sleep.

3. Stay Connected

Social connection is crucial for our mental health. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or online. Share your feelings with loved ones and trusted people from your community and invite them to share with you.

4. Take a Break From the News and Social Media

It’s good to stay informed, but choose trusted sources of information. Social media can help you stay connected, but too much time can make us feel stressed, passive and overwhelmed. Control your screentime - these notifications aim to address growing concerns around increasing device usage, smartphone addiction and social media impacting on mental health.

5. Stick To a Routine

Have a regular bedtime and meal times. Plan your day so you have time for household chores, connecting with others, activities you enjoy, and rest.

6. Monitor Your Mental Health and Wellbeing

It’s really important to monitor your mental health and wellbeing. It is also good to be aware of family, friends and neighbours who may be worried or stressed. Things to look out for include difficulty concentrating, poor sleep, and feeling distressed or overwhelmed. These are signs that it’s time to reach out.

7. Seek Support

Don’t be afraid to talk to someone if you are feeling stressed or anxious. Talk to friends and family about how you’re feeling. You’re not being a burden. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can talk to a trained counsellor any time, any day by calling the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Line: 1800 512 348. For a free telephone interpreter call 131 450 and say the language you need. You can then ask the interpreter to connect you to the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service.

If what you’re going through is making it hard to get on with your daily life, contact your local General Practitioner (GP).