MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH DURING A GLOBAL HEALTH CRISIS
This global health challenge goes way beyond what anyone could ever imagine, we would need to deal with during our lifetime.
We find ourselves in the midst of a once in century societal health pandemic crisis, that may be classified as a physical and psychological threat, adversely impacting on our mental health.
It would seem probable that society at large is alarmed and grappling with ‘significant stress’. This stress response (fight/flight/freeze) is in fact a normal response to an abnormal event. Whilst processing stress, is a unique experience, it is expected that many of us will at some point experience uncomfortable cognitive, emotional and physical changes during this difficult time.
Whilst stress in itself is actually totally normal, it’s not all bad, and actually can be good eg: productive stress, as it alerts us to act and do something differently, example:
Paying attention to government stipulations to stay safe, etc.
Motivate us to make serious immediate changes to our routine
However, when stress is in overdrive, and triggers a cycle of anxiety provoking responses, it then tips us way past productive stress, into negative destructive stress.
The key is to be in control of our stress and not let stress control us!
WELLBEING ADVICE DURING THE CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC
1 – Engage in a practical approach, keep informed, stay calm and be prepared to adjust your routine. Check reputable sources for information for necessary routine changes, eg: news, or WHO (World Health Organisation).
2 – Maintain positive mental health: limit conversations with negative people, think positive thoughts, become aware and regulate emotional states, engage strengths, gratitude, kindness and compassion, and practice spirituality.
3 – Social connection: get social, yes that’s right, there are many ways to socialise without physical closeness. Technology is perfect for keeping in touch. It important to help others and sustain meaningful connections, check in with friends and family, join on-line chat groups. Being social is very important for everyone’s mental health.
4 – Learn something new: if you have time expand your mind, learn something interesting. Give yourself permission to pursue that interest you always had but never had time for.
5 – Engage purpose and satisfaction: Spring clean, de-clutter or renovate the house if your handy at that type of thing. Even better create your own ‘wellness space’ so you can be reminded to look after yourself and take time out for self-care.
6 – Staying Active: Keep moving, according to ESSA physical exercise in particular is recommended during this time, as it boosts immunity and mental health too.
Other forms of being active could include gardening with a vegetable patch, or planting flowers, nature is great for the soul. And the vegetables and flowers will bring you pleasure and satisfaction when they grow.
7 – Turn off your thinking: Go within, rest and let go. Learn mindfulness meditation to practice being in the present moment. Great for training the mind and body to simply be… and disconnect from thinking. Imagine that, during this time there is nothing you need to think or do… just be.
8- Limit media intake: Beware watching the news may increase your feelings of anxiety. It is a good idea to take control of this and limit your intake. Maybe curb back to once or twice a day, max.
Get professional help: engage in ‘counselling and mental health support’ to better manage stress and uncomfortable emotional states and triggers, learn strategies to counterattack and reduce symptoms relating to; anxiety, depression, anger and grief.
Accessing necessary supports during this crazy corona virus period is an important self-care strategy.
10 – Space to GROW: Use this time for a self-development initiative, give yourself ‘space to think, grow and change’. Engage in ‘coaching’ to build resilience, and create new ways to take control to reach goals, allowing you to become the best version of you.
Here at the Wellbeing Minder Clinic we here for you: face to face, on-line and telephone appointments available.
WHO (World Health Organisation)
ESSA (Exercise and Sports Science Aust)
WELLBEING MINDER - Counsellor Campbelltown
Gracie Potamianakis - Registered Counsellor & Coaching Specialist (Specialist areas: Anxiety & Depression, PTSD, Relationship Counselling, Personal Development, Career & Workplace Issues...more... Stress, Sleep Disorders, Post Natal Depression, Relationship & Family, Parenting, Bullying, Grief & Loss, Anger, Burnout, Academic Performance, Career Development, Executive Coaching.